The Pelosis and a Haunted America

Oct 28, 2022 · 676 comments
People Power (NYC)
Thank you, Maureen, for yet another vacuous essay sent down from your elitist perch, decrying what an unsafe world we live in and dutifully reminding your Manhattanite readership of the impending Republican congressional majorities and all of the harm they will do. You don't get it. The political system is corrupt and broken - in the same way it was at the close of the 19th century. I will say this from the outset: Paul Pelosi did not deserve to be attacked. All forms of violence are wrong. But Nancy Pelosi, whatever she may have been at the start of her career, is corrupt and incompetent, and has done little if anything to champion a legislative agenda that truly helps the masses. The only logical reason I can think of that the Democratic caucus has continued to keep her in power all these years is because most of the Democratic caucus members are locked into the same corrupt system that she represents. "Democrats had a nice run, on climate change and gun legislation..." Really, Maureen? That's all you've got to sum up the Democrats' legislative accomplishments over the past 2 years?
Jack (Kailua Kona)
Yup - we're doomed. As usual, all Democrats seem able to do now is send text messages asking for more money - too little, too late. Not that I have a better plan to deal with those who reject reality. Democrats have dug themselves a deep hole from which even light can't escape. I'm left hoping for divine intervention to defeat the hordes of angry trump crazies salivating at the gates. If only...
Kara (NJ)
The so called “moderate voter”who elected Glenn Youngkin should have to listen to his comment stating that he and his supporters send Nancy Pelosi “back to California” on replay! Aside from stunning insensitivity and disrespect for an American lawmaker after a horrific incident involving her husband of 59 years and a 82 year old man who sustained a skull fracture and was undergoing surgery, we are now demonizing an entire state? The last time I checked, California is part of the United States of America and it’s citizens are fellow Americans. That’s where Trump has taken the Republican Party and I guess Youngkin supporters are onboard. Tell Glenn Youngkin Virginia deserves better!
RoseAE (AZ)
next is the complete destruction of social safety net. Then we will find ourselves in the libertarian paradise. Skyscapers, surrounded by private militias, those surrounded by shantytowns. periodic armed expeditions of what is left of armed forces into shantytowns on internal peacekeeping missions. welcome to the Brazil/Argentina on the Potomac. As always, we will do it even better. vote Republican! Your mom and pop did, why shouldn't you?
KAN (Upstate NY)
I’m horrified, shocked and disgusted by the savagery and hatred visited upon Paul Pelosi. This sick sociopath can’t be punished enough. Throw the book at him. I pray that Mr. Pelosi can heal fully from such horrific injuries. My heartfelt support and good will are sent to you, Nancy, to Paul and to your whole family.
Old Texas Biscuit Maker (DC)
"I cannot believe anybody would vote for these people,” Pelosi told The Times’s Carl Hulse". My sentiments exactly. It is beyond my comprehension why a normal, intelligent human being cannot see through Trump, Herschel Walker, Kari Lake - all of them. How can they not see what I see? Lying, corrupt, evil people who want power and do not give even a tiny little whit about us our or our country. I cannot believe it either, Madame Speaker. But I so appreciate all you do to show us the truth.
Lawyers, Guns, And Money (South Of The Border)
Just a precursor to what is coming from the right wing nuts. The current crop of crazy MAGA candidates should make it quite clear that chaos and abnormal actions are going to be the norm for the next two years. Combine that with frequent Trump MAGA rallies for the next two years, fanning the flames of extremism, making the potential for more violence quite real.
Nick Tyler (YUL)
You’re watching The Fall of the American Empire. It will be said in history books that the triggering event for all of this was when Trump announced his candidacy in 2015 at his NYC hotel. The rest will basically be: you got was you deserved. Failures in the education system over the last decades led to a total collapse of global IQ in the population and the surrealist fact that a moronic reality TV host ran and won a presidential election.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Lincoln was killed by a vengeful supporter of Confederate secession. Garfield by a disgruntled political patronage aspirant. McKinley by an anarchist. Kennedy by a barely functioning psychopath. All people worked up by long time grievances who sought out people they perceived to represent what they imagined had made their own lives no longer worth living. In every case, others had seen how desperate these men had become but nobody let anybody know who could have saved their victims.
Mkm (Nyc)
I must say that I am surprised that the home of The Speaker of the House is not guarded. The third in -line Constitutional Officer of the Unites States. That said, the opportunism presented here to tarnish every Republican because of a lone nut job in this intense political period going into the election is precisely as distasteful as Governor Youngkin comments.
JLD (Columbus, Ohio)
Oh yeah - things are really bad and they are about to get a lot worse. The mob with the pitchforks and torches is coming for us all. I do not think that this will end well.
Charms Ganna (Forest Hills NY)
If only it was just a haunted America. America is where political violence is now accepted. Jan 6 has shown that Republicans were not moved by the violence at the Capital. TFG and his enablers have continued the “Big Lie” and conspiracy theories that are on the internet for any crazy person to hang onto. We are no longer America the beautiful. Now we are America the ugly and violent.
John (Tucson, AZ)
Republicans have gone from a decade long sit down strike in Congress to a party that openly encourages assassins.
Joe (amherst)
Well there was an actual assassination attempt of over 20 GOP Senators and Congressmen at a baseball practice that put a few people into critical care. That is memory holed though. OH he actually worked for the Bernie campaign of 2016 and was screaming about health care while shooting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_baseball_shooting
Ed (Colorado)
Face it: America is over. Finished. The country has gone insane and come apart-- all at the instigation of one man and his horde of mini-me's--the delusional, violence-loving, lie-spewing ex-president. Usually, it's not easy to point to a single cause for anything. In this case--well, isn't it obvious?
USC (California)
The republicans have vilified Nancy Pelosi in the most despicable manner possible for the past 10 years. This was the result. They are still running those commercials, even now.
kay (ny)
There have been many acts of politcal terrorism lead by the right these past 6 years. They have lost their minds. What can normal people do? Vote blue up and down the ballot asap! If the crazies get in, this will literally be our last legitimate election and the end to democracy. That is not an hyperbole; it's reality. VOTE!!
JVG (Vallejo, CA)
I blame Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy. Their utter lack of leadership has allowed the rantings of a madman, Donald Trump, to take hold in America. I blame them and every other Republican lawmaker who lent validity to the Big Lie. They are ethics-free, power-hungry cowards not worthy of positions of authority.
Anita (Florida)
What happened to Paul Pelosi was despicable, deplorable and should be dammed. What has happened to some Americans? Statistics have been shown that violence increased from 2016 and seems to me it is just about off the charts in 2022. Not only are "normal" citizens targets but members of Congress as well. A direct line can be drawn from the former president to this year. It has been predicted this violence will continue and voters will be intimated by home grown terrorists. Can nothing be done? That is what I wonder.
Jeremy (Vermont)
Just hope the "Where's Nancy?" doesn't turn out to be a Jussie Smollett moment...
Brooke (Palmer, Alaska)
The sycophants of the MAGA world are on track to scare election workers, voters, and reasonable people, into submission. They want us to disconnect and huddle in a bunker mentality. The GOPers are sitting back and watching this happen, with few exceptions. On a scale of 1 to 10 how closely does this resemble the tactics of modern fascism?
Kahisa (NY)
Man with gun, knife arrested near Justice Kavanaugh's house NBC Jun 8, 2022 The Pelosis own hundred and more millions of dollars I can't relate to this - they do have the money to have a safe home Unlike me, whose house was broken into
ekalb1 (dsm)
In our current times, Newt Gingerich institutionalized political hate speech with the vocabulary list he publlshed 30 years ago. With it and the his Contract For/On America, depending on which side you're on, he took over the U.S. House. America eventually woke up to his tune and rejected their majority. But he established a foundation for hate to thrive. The hate speech became funded by the very rich who use the Republican party to control us peasants, including Murdock and his Sky and Fox News Empire. There was room for small entrepeneurs, too. Rush Limbaugh on radio, small chanels on cable & UHF tv, with the swing in of religious channels telling people that Jesus wants them to send money to their group, to, Jesus supports hate and action to stop liberals. As all facists do, they blame groups of people. Liberals has become the overarching word replacing ethnic & racial groups and religions they don't like. Liberals can't sue. Liberals are not protected by the Constitution. Everyone who is a part of these institutions of hate, whether content makers or sympathetic viewers, they are co-offenders in the assault on Paul Pelorsi. It is shameful that they will be allowed to escape responsibility for their hate.
Dadof2 (NJ)
I find it ironic that the impotent attempts to curb gun violence come from outlawing something ill-defined as "Assault Weapons" when David DePate has, as one of the 3 main charges against him, "ASSAULT with a deadly WEAPON" which in this case, is not a firearm but a hammer. (Remember 56 years ago The Beatles had a macabre song in British musical hall style about a serial killer using a "silver hammer"?) All of these violent assaults over the last 6 years trace back to their fountain head, Donald Trump, who literally ORDERED the Jan 6th attack on the Capitol and to the Secret Service to get VP Pence out of the building so Grassley could step in and spinelessly and illegally overrule the landslide election of Biden. "But how can you blame Trump?" the MAGAs say and the answer is simple: The same way we blame Osama Bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 that was supposed to crash into the Capitol! (Life imitates art: In "Debt of Honor" Tom Clancy has an angry pilot crash a 747 into the Capitol during the State of the Union, YEARS before 9/11!) Folks, you're not going to disarm the far Right no matter HOW many laws you pass, because only the decent people will abide by them. We are now where Germany was in 1933. Will we fall into the Abyss a week from Tuesday, or continue to teeter on the edge for another 2 years?
GJW (Rocky Mountains)
We are living in 1930s Germany right now. This election will determine how bad it gets from here. If Republicans win, I’m leaving.
Art sp’ (Maryland)
Latest news is that this Pelosi guy’s camper is in the driveway of a Berkeley home with a Black Lives Matter sign in the upper window and an LBGTQ flag hanging from the tree. This image is easily available. He’s a big advocate of marijuana. We should not be quick to judge his politics right yet. I saw an image of his van. It has a sticker on the back with a positive—not snide or negative—definition of “Liberal” on it. Just sayin’…
watchdog (New York)
"Genial investor"! What? No mention of Paul pleading guilty to a DUI just a few months ago? Hmmm
Sophia (chicago)
I don’t know what shocks and sickens me more - the horrendous attack or some of the comments on this thread essentially blaming the victim or making excuses or looking forward to yet more bloodshed when MAGA seizes power. As if an attempted political assassination were just everyday street crime and we didn’t watch an attempted violent coup at the hands of MAGA live on our televisions! Shame on you guys. This is beyond unAmerican. It echoes the horrors of Nazi Germany. I cannot believe this.
Dr B (San Diego)
The attack is horrible and should be roundly condemned. It is worth noting however that a video from Jan. 6 recorded Pelosi saying about the President, "I'm going to punch him out...and I'm gonna be happy" (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/pelosi-said-new-jan-6-video-wanted-punch-trump-rcna52247). Such language is exactly what promotes violent behavior.
PGLondon (London)
I can’t afford private security. Sounds like it’s high time to avoid America. Don’t think I could sleep if I were there. Republicans have lunatic supporters. Not worth the risk. And think about places like Texas where one can carry a gun without a permit! That’s clearly absurd!
Johnny Ventura (usa)
Nobody needs to have what happened to P Pelosi just as the same or even "worse" that happens day in day out to innocent people all across America. On another note, Christine Pelosi, (Nancy's daughter) sent a not so kind tweet after Rand Paul was attacked and he ended up with broken ribs and went to the hospital.
Jim (Columbia, MO)
Trump didn’t just gin up the rioters. He invited them to DC and he primed them for violence, he cheered them on. They were his mob. And the GOP did nothing in the aftermath to disown Trump and educate his supporters. Of course cult deprogramming is no small thing, and an Australian media baron and his sons can still profit monetarily off pumping poisonous propaganda into the public discourse and they will do so until the profits are thin and the effort too great. Who is next? Hillary Clinton? It’s not enough to imprison Trump for life, for his sedition, for his domestic terrorism. The GOP must be outlawed. They embrace violent fascism. Anything for power.
gregoryf (nyc)
Another example of the shocking rise in the number of violent, mentally ill, middle-aged men spouting hate-filled garbage fueled by internet filth, now to be abetted by the billionaire, "free-speech advocate," Elon Musk and his "friend," Donald Trump.
Linda (West Coast)
You fail to mention that most of the people being pushed onto subway tracks, facing kidnapping plots, and assaulted are women and people of color.
Longtime Japan (Japan)
In your list of terrible, scary things, you forgot an entire summer of rioting, killing and property destruction.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Well, you all love your TV. It'll be the end of ya' all. Just trying to warn everyone. It's almost time for horrors.
H. Clark (Long Island)
What's killed America is the outright mendacity — with utter impunity — committed by Republicans at every juncture, and at every level. It's in their DNA.
Paul Wortman (Providence)
Yes Maureen, Halloween is all-too-real this year with the Sauron-of-Mar-a-Lago casting his evil light of death and destruction across America. The Trump dystopia is upon us as darkness descends across the land and hope fades under the fear and fecklessness of the Democrats, the judiciary, and the media to call out the toxic evil that is the monstrous democracy devouring Republican Party. When we wake up on November 9, we may have witnessed a new Kristallnacht that unleashes the murderous hatred of not just of anti-semitism that has already appeared, but also Democratic politicians, Blacks, LGBTQs, the "fake news" media, Muslims, and even further attacks and punishment for women seeking an abortion.
Steve (Just Left Of Center)
"Dark Prince"? After an armed, disturbed man showed up at the home of another SC Justice? Don't become part of the problem, Maureen.
Paco (Santa Barbara)
The attack on Mr. Pelosi gives meaning to Kanye West’s recent statement that he can say anti-Semitic stuff and so, “Now what?”
BrendanC (NY)
82 year old Mr. Pelosi is expected to recover from a skull fracture. It's near over for both of them, I'm afraid.
Stephen (Home Of The Bill Of Rights)
Just to clear up the record: Oklahoma has a higher per capita rate of crime than New York. So Ms. Dowd let’s not fall into the Republican trap of the liberal city being beset by crime.
Will Maguire (Nashville)
The very worst of us...the ignorant and the easily manipulated, primed by propaganda meant to outrage believe they are patriots. The propaganda, especially talk radio, is pouring daily like a river. It is poisoning the souls of the listeners. Are only hope is to halt it.
Michael (Miller)
It is finally time to haul Trump, suspected thief of classified documents for sale to our foreign enemies, off to the hoosegow. Fifty-two years ago Los Angeles District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi convinced a jury that Charles Manson, though not physically present at the Tate and LaBianca crime scenes, was guilty of murder in the first degree. For similar reasons the former reality TV star and bankruptcy king -- proud assaulter of women and friend of Jeffrey Epstein -- is culpable. Crimes like David DePape's attack on Paul Pelosi would never have occurred to the assailant had Trump not repeatedly encouraged violence against his political enemies from 2016 to the present. Let's bring the national nightmare to an end. Lock him up!
Michael Thorson (Madison, WI)
Figured it would only be a hot minute before the left pinned the blame squarely on the 50% of the country who are now, apparently, fascists. There is no canyon too wide for the liberal media to surmount with a giant conclusive leap. Where was the outrage from the left when an armed gunman showed up at a Supreme Court justice's house? Or when a shooter targets a Republican congressman at a baseball game? Fanning the flames works both ways. Yes, the extreme right wing nutjobs are atrocious. But it doesn't help matters when the Commander-in-Chief calls half the country fascists. As details come out, it seems to be the act of a delusional, mentally ill, drug-addicted individual - who wasn't getting the professional help he needed from social or medical services in San Francisco. Thank God Mr. Pelosi survived, and I wish him a full and speedy recovery.
Bryan Phillips (East West Midwest South)
its scary but I ain't giving in to fright. the real enemies are the billionaires and the corporations. THAT is the evil in america.... Exxon. AT&T. Facebook.... trump is just a object to focus the animus and hatred. I'm not giving into the hatred. AND I NEVER plan to buy a gun.
Jo (Tubac, Arizona)
Sadly, Trump will never possess the intelligence and class of Ms. Pelosi. He is a violently dysfunctional man who will never experience a 59 year relationship with anyone but himself. He showed his usual class in this situation.
New Senior (NYC)
I'm still waiting for Trump to prop up the assailant by claiming that at least he is good to his mother
H. Clark (Long Island)
Republicans will describe the vicious assault on Paul Pelosi as merely ‘a tourist visit.’ They’ll put some nauseating spin on it to make it all the Democrats’ fault. These are the awful times we’re living in. Please vote Blue. If not, it may be the last time you ever vote in your entire life.
Jonathan (USA)
Every Republican, from the Loser-in-Chief on down, believes that terrorism and political violence will make America great. Two problems with that: 1 - We're already great. And it wasn't Republicans who made us that way. 2 - If our country is run by a mindless mob bent on destruction, the greatness we once had will be gone forever. They'll see to it.
Mutt Furball (The Great Flyover)
This is the ugly face of the new civil war. Isolated attacks will gradually escalate into bigger and better planned assaults on democratic figures of authority. Poll workers are bailing in record numbers putting a strain on the voting process. The revolution has entered a new phase. There is nothing accidental about any of this.
angel98 (nyc)
Déjà vu Re: the GOP's silent complicity on violence and threats. "Someone's going to get hurt. Someone's going to get shot. Someone's going to get killed."
NT (NWWA)
This is a natural outcome of so many things that have been lined up since Reagan, which Clinton and Obama exacerbated, and Trump leveraged to put into full-on assault mode. The coming chaos is entirely understandable if one chooses to read and learn from history: Backgrounds Of Conflict by Kurt London The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed or Fail by Ray Dalio These are just a few of a long list of books that call out and identify a cast of characters as diverse as Newt Gingrich and Nancy Reagan. This even includes the profligate wars, which brought him a level of militarization and deranged right-leaning warmongers in the guise of former soldiers. We will never learn that when we train people to be killers, it is impossible to untrain them - we trained them to listen to illegal and immoral orders unquestioningly, yet we are shocked they fall for it from someone like Trump or other barkers. Come on...America, we must stop pretending we don't know where this came from!
BuckmanRes (Oregon)
If Mr. Pelosi had had a handgun in the house he likely wouldn't now be in the hospital with severe injuries caused by this kook. But this tragic incident won't be ignored by the Uniter in Chief who wasted no time in vilifying the opposition party. Way to bring us together Joe.
Kent Rhodes (NC)
So many Republicans in their shameful campaign rhetoric spewing hate and inciting violence.
Brent W. (Manhattan)
It is one of those many horrible incidents that makes me fortunate to have dual citizenship (American-French), because if those hateful folks from MAGA continue to do their irreparable damage to America, I’ll have an escape hatch.
John Ranta (New Hampshire)
The people who are at fault for this attack on Pelosi will go unpunished. Those are the people like Tucker Carlson, Marjorie Taylor Green, Michael Flynn, Trump and their fellow Republican conspiracy-mongers. I’ve had a chance this morning to read excerpts of the attacker’s posts in news stories, and he’s clearly deranged. If he sincerely believed that Pelosi was leading a pedophilia ring and conspiring to repress Whites and steal elections and hide evidence of deaths from vaccinations (and a host of other insane conspiracies he claimed were true) then his attack was justified - in his mind. Those like Tucker Carlson, Trump and MTG, who spread these lies and conspiracies while knowing they are false, are the ones with blood on their hands. Sadly, they’ll go blithely on spreading lies and inciting violence, and reaping the rewards.
Worumbo (US)
Never forget the attack on Rep. Gabby Giffords.
sailorskier (Canada)
How did we get here? What do we truly value? A couple of really, really, important questions .... Societal politics.... Who, what, where, why and how was it decided to get rid of the Fairness Doctrine? Economic politics .... Who, what, where, why and how was it was decided that corporations are people? People get their ideas and values ... from our ideas and values, and who, what, where, why and how, we communicate them! Oh my ! Something has gone wrong ! Coach Craig Awareness + Education = Change
holly (Marshall, MO)
I don't know my country. Little real joy. Friendships smashed. Reagan's assault on middle-classes & dumbing down results are in. Violence can strike anywhere, mostly on the most vulnerable. The bullies have found the belonging they were shut out of. The fascist cult. Beside the brave people of Ukraine, we are an embarassment.
H. Clark (Long Island)
Democrats are the Party of solving problems, feeding, housing and educating people, and offering opportunity to anyone willing to work for a better life. Republicans are all about greed, hatred, cruelty, pandemic, racism, sedition, insurrection, treason, espionage, and aligning with a deranged cult leader who promised them everything, delivered nothing, and they are too ignorant to acknowledge that fact. I fear we’re irretrievably broken. When they go hunting for the Speaker of the House of Representatives and nearly murder her husband in their home, we are almost beyond help. Can you imagine Republicans’ outrage if someone had broken into Mar-a-Lago and attacked Melania Trump with a hammer? It would be game over for ‘the Radical Left, folks.’ I just voted. I fear it will be the last time.
Alexandra (Former NYer)
This is why I pay for The New York Times. Dowd has a true gift in finding the exact words about the what’s really going on. Thank you, Maureen!
Susan (Paris)
If I really wanted to scare myself this Halloween, I wouldn’t be watching “Night of the Living Dead,” or “Zombie Apocalypse,” “Dracula,” or any other horror films old and new, I’d just go to YouTube and (re)watch the footage from the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol. Those camo-wearing, brutish men assaulting the police and roaming the halls of our nation’s Capitol, some specifically hunting Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence, are much more terrifying, and they aren’t actors - they’re terrifyingly real. Oh, the horror!
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
January 6 violent “legitimate political discourse” demonstration in which a sitting president incited many who participated were unpunished. Since 2015 a grand bloviating con artist encouraged violence against those who he saw as enemies to his maga movement, and his version of “brown shirts”. And others in the putrid party of TFG have fallen in lock step with the chants that the Democrats, the “radical left” are enemies, have many advocating single party rule, which further incites those who believe their actions will protect the maga and Trumplican movement. Thus, the attacks on campaigns, the stalking of ballot drop box locations, and now the attempt of violence on a Member of Congress which severely injured her husband as she was not home. And the cretinous magas cheered-including elected officials. Millions of taxpayer’s dollars were spent protecting the grifter from Mar A Logo family members from harm. Do we now need to protect every Democratic member of Congress and their families to protect them from domestic terrorists? What Trump, and extremist conservative outlets and babbling fools in those outlets are visiting on our country is shameful. Thanks, Marjorie, Lauren, Donny and Tucker.
Bill Brasky (USA)
trumpism didn't happen on it's own. it was enabled by many in the mainstream media that enabled and promoted him. some were (are) even esteemed NYT columnists. None have been held accountable.
Susan (Southwest)
I am working early voting at the polls right now. People working with me are saying Paul Pelosi’s attack was a false flag operation carried out by the FBI. These people are heavily armed and really scared of Democrats. It’s bizarre and a bit discouraging, tbh.
Emily (San Francisco)
There’s only one poll that matters. * according to The Chronicle, the assailant is originally from British Columbia, and according to relatives, he was a bit off before he got to the Bay Area by way of Hawaii. In 2012, he was campaigning for nudists’ rights. …in other words, your typical Trump supporter.
Peter (Boston)
While this attacker appears to have no official tie to a militia or domestic terrorist group, I'm banking on the FBI successfully infiltrating the Proud Boys, QAnon, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters and others. On Jan. 6, these groups were a danger to our republic. What's next on their hit list?
Kevin (Colorado)
You can't have civil discourse between the two sides as long our two party's megaphones won't stop yelling fire in the theater and torquing up the growing numbers of people who can't critically think for themselves. Demonizing your opponents and make them sound irredeemably crooked and sub-human was a tactic of Joseph Goebbels, and apparently more than a few in the media appear to be following his practices and like Goebbels appear on the stage at campaign rallies as a participant booster instead of an interviewer. To make things worse anyone following their frothing at the mouth incitement (previously described) will claim they didn't think in depth about what they were doing and they were just following the direction of whatever entertainers they follow.
Agent Gopher (Santa Fe)
Is anyone else terrified of Republicans? The party is one of beastly behavior.
Bob Holliday (Bloomington, Il)
Maureen: America has been over for awhile, certainly since Jan. 6 and likely by the time Donnie Trump was elected by a racist, sexist and violent populace. All we can do is hunker down and hope that the next world superpower (likely China) is somewhat gracious. Frankly, it doesn't look good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D49XA8c761o&t=3s
Lorenzo Jones (Bronx, NY)
Oh my, lions and tigers and bears! You didn't speak hardly a lick when Republican congressman from Louisiana was shot while playing softball. the question you don't ask is - why the heck didn't the home of the Speaker of the House have security? That is the question that needs to be answered, or anyone could start a conspiracy theory that the attack was planned by Democrats scraping for sympathy in this election because of their desperation, so Mrs. Pelosi needs to answer why she was safely ensconced in DC but her husband was alone at home? With no alarms? No blazing security lights? No trained dogs? Nothing between the door and the street close by? That needs an answer quickly. Then it will be really lions and tigers and bears.
DuckSoup (Anatidae)
The U.S., over the last 40 years, become a weak and immature, ignorant, violent and fantasist nation. In my lifetime, America dropped its stellar #1 educational standing in the world to almost 30th; transmogrified into a violent ooze that admired psycho criminals instead of character, perseverance, effort and brilliance; turned everything into a cash register and a shallow ego thrill; strove to remain stuck in some bizarre adolescent snow globe of whiney angst and entertainment. And, btw, Halloween is not a holiday. Once upon a time, it was the acknowledged pagan hold over - one night when little kids put a cheap costume or a sheet over their head to canvas the neighborhood for 2 hours, tops, with often a brown paper bag or pillowcase to hold treat. No one over the age of 9 or 10 participated. Parents had better things to do and devoted the shortest amount of time possible and a mild passing involvement getting a cheap costume for the youngest kids, letting it be a safe though still kinda weird kid's night out. Now, allegedly grown Millennial adults spend upwards of $1000 on numerous inflatable monster toys for their yard to show off to other arrested development parents, and either walk with the kids around a couple of streets or drive their offspring to other neighborhoods - maybe even forgo the trick or treat thing altogether and do a school event. Halloween has become Big Business, which took all the mystery, excitement and fun out of it. Kind of like America itself.
Robert (Out West)
I think Youngkin ripped off his mask a little early: Halloween’s not till Monday.
just Robert (North Carolina)
The horror is in the Trumpist GOPwhich spouts a battle on crime but allows ARfifteens on the streets and oath keeper staulkers to threaten our elections. Where is the call for fair elections when the GOP wins but denies Democrats their wins. While Trump held the White House for four yyears he did nothing to curb what he called stolen elections but screamed when he lost just before and after the election he lost.Where is law an order when the GOP as in Houston cuts back on funding for the police then blames Democrats for the rise in crime.
Raskolnikov (Nebraska)
The wave of crime Republicans say is bludgeoning the country and blame Mr Biden for it is the result of Republican endorsed bigotry, antisemitism, racism, and cynical antigovernment rhetoric. Then, they turn around and look puzzled! Their proclamations of hate have spawned the Devil from their MAGA seeds.
Maria (Atlanta)
How much lower can the Republican party go? This was clearly a trump supporter, consuming his lies and filth, and acting upon them. Republicans may be joking about this now, but no good can come out of a sickened society like the one they are feeding and cultivating.
Tony Mendoza (Tucson Arizona)
This has very creepy resemblance to El Violencia and its aftermath in Colombia where the Liberals and the Conservatives killed each other wholesale. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed for nothing more than handing food to the poor or going to the wrong church. It started with the assassination of a beloved Liberal politician and lasted for more than 50 years. Believe me, anyone who wishes this on the United States is absolutely crazy.
VC (Richmond VA)
Today I have lost my will to treat Republican liars with respect.
Jim K (Allentown, PA)
I truly believe that 40 years of uncontrolled talk-radio hosts and the slow creep of Fox New's sinister opinion clowns have been the steady fuel for the hated and stupidity that has now taken control of this country. Just imagine if those same people had been preaching a steady drumbeat of the importance of cooperation, critical thinking and compassion in an ever-changing world. Using the public airwaves in order to spread lies and disinformation should be a crime. How bad will things have to get before the FCC and our crazed congressmen realize that unfettered insanity is not a good thing?
Steven Blair, (Napa, CA)
Agree completely, but you left out the attacks on all the elderly Asian women and the incredible rise in anti-Semitic hate in America. It’s much more expansive than just politics.
Guido (Cincinnati)
Fact: Joe Biden will be the last freely, fairly elected president of America. Another nail in the coffin of democracy as it quickly fades into fascism through lies, hatred, racism and hypocrisy to name just a few of the crimes committed by those whose goal is to destroy our truths and sell them to the lowest bidders. This isn't The Art of The Deal. It's the art of The Steal. We all know it. Especially those who do nothing but look the other way to save only themselves at the expense of everyone else. Perhaps, this Halloween Night they'll all dress up as angels in disguise.
JenD (NJ)
An excerpt in The Atlantic from Robert Draper's new book gives some insight into how some MAGA supporters can believe all the crazy nonsense they spout: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/10/weapons-of-mass-delusion-book-excerpt-republican-party-trump/671907/ If someone believes all that garbage, it's not too far-fetched to see why violence against "the enemy" seems appropriate to them. Horrifying.
Karen Norris (Fort Worth, Texas)
Donald Trump is evil and his particular brand of evil seems to spill out and taint everything it touches. America won't be safe until he is indicted and imprisoned for his crimes. I once heard in a sermon, "Don't give the devil a foothold." Well that's exactly what many Americans (encouraged by the unassailably self-rightous 'Pastor' Robert Jeffress) did.
Moby (Detroit, MI)
Ms Dowd is underestimating the disasters to come in January. The least of which is fascism and the worst of which is climate catastrophe. I feel for anyone under 50.
Ricardo (San Francisco)
Please spare us another round of respect and understanding for your brother and his ilk this Thanksgiving. The ugliness unleashed by intelligent and seemingly "harmless" Republicans, like your brother and mine, is tearing us apart in ways once thought unimaginable. Even sensitive, thoughtful apologetics...is still apologetics, and harmful to us all. Show some respect to your readers, instead please...
Icarus (Phila.,Pa.)
Considering the almost daily assaults on innocent people of all races and genders on the streets and in the subways of cities across the country by people who belong in a mental care facility , portraying attacks on politicians as politically motivated is misguided at best , ignorant of the real problem at the worst.
PTR (NJ)
Trump is wholly responsible for unleashing and emboldening all of these criminal, physically assaultive actions perpetrated by individuals and hate groups, emboldening them to act out as occurred here across the country. Persons with public personas need be very concerned about their own safety and that of their families, as for the most part they live at home and move around like private citizens. Putting the genie back in the bottle will not be easy, so wise guy punk politicians like Youngkin, who make comments as he did offering a wink and a nod to the crazies out there just as Trump has done over and over ought to think twice about doing so, lest they succumb to the same physical violence.
alayton (New york)
All you need to know about NYC's biggest failure: he was silent because Mrs Pelosi called him out and said he wasn't man enough to appear before the Jan 6th commission and expressed sympathy for a former predator who married his 13 year old cousin.
lindalipscomb (california)
Hunted America. Hunted with a hammer. Teach your kids that the internet social world is sheer nonsense and sick fantasy. Talk by the phone, not the text. Meet others for lunch. Encourage kids to bring their friends over, rather than "visit" online. People to people helps counter conspiracy. Who wants a freakish avatar lifetime, anyway??? That's the root of the current wild problems: abstraction from reality. think of it: "reality" tv shows...have you ever seen more "unreal" situations cast as alleged reality? Resist!
MS (US)
You have an enormous megaphone and not an ounce of shame.
Max Collodi (New Jersey)
Keep electing Republicans. Cliché has it they want to return us to 1950’s America. No, it’s clear they’d prefer 1930’s Germany. Yes Maureen, I’m scared and the trick is own us.
Ken (St. Louis)
In this harrowing piece, Ms. Dowd mentions the word "feral", as in a "feral mood" that has overtaken America. Add this mood's synonym, "vicious thoughts", and you get a stark image of Dowd's Fantasia lord of evil as an apt metaphor of an all- too-real Republican Network hellbent on remaking the U.S. into a Paranoid-Narcissist State. Prepare yourselves, Good citizens. For this week's break-ins at the Pelosi residence and campaign headquarters of AZ gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs, and ghoulish Republican intimidation at AZ ballot drop boxes, are most likely the start of a Campaign of Horror to be unleashed after (1) the Democrats dismantle the G.O.P. on Nov. 8, and (2) Trump finally gets charged with felony after felony after felony....
MSPWEHO (West Hollywood, CA)
Sadly, we are not up against a few lone psychos, but rather, we face tens of millions of election-denying Trumpist sycophants--the majority of them brainwashed not only by crackpot Q Anon conspiracies--Nancy Pelosi as satan, for example?!--but also, by the perverse puritanism of American evangelicalism, itself an unofficial arm of the immoral GOP. Add to that, these tens of millions are armed to the rafters not just with hammers, but with AR-15's and a near-infinite stock of ammo. Their targets are likely to be anyone who isn't white, Christian, American-born, heterosexual and male. This Halloween season began when Trump descended an escalator seven years ago...and the horrors may not conclude for many years to come.
Twain's Ghost (Rocky Mountains)
Enough! In several other articles here in the NYT, the rise in political violence is ascribed to "all points of the political spectrum". No! Enough of the false equivalencies and down playing of the hands on involvement of Republicans behind it all! How many Republicans have been threatened, let alone attacked? Quit pussyfooting around the real issue: Republican extremism and their anti-democracy agenda. If you're worried about alienating Republicans, don't because almost none of them would be caught dead reading the NYT. Get back to the basics of journalism and tell the plain truth. This happened as a direct result of decades of Republican propaganda allowed by the suspension of the Equal Time Rule and Fairness Doctrine, and rulings by SCOTUS equating free speech with money and designating corporations as people. These were the "termite army" that hollowed out our democracy unseen to the point where now, the house may still be standing but all it will take is a gust from an orange blowhard to knock it down. That's the *real* horror story of this season.
Sjsocon (VA)
Republican candidates are not just," a range of incompetent and hypocritical candidates"...they are also LIARS about the 2020 election, in order to cozy up to Trump so he would endorse them! Once we thought all we had to worry about was the Republican Climate Deniers but now, it's the Republican 2020 Election Deniers, and the Republicans in Congress who are the dangerous Lying Mini Trump Copy Cats.
Joe c (MO)
Where is George Bush in all of this? We've heard from the Cheney family. Where are the Bushes? Until Republican leaders grow a spine and condemn the MAGA thugs, and tell people to vote against them, this will continue. Once again, where is George Bush? Looks like the it was President Cheney after all.
Vibertarian (Yonxville)
I am very sorry for what happened to Paul Pelosi. Unfortunately, he know has first hand knoiwledge of what we New Yorkers are facing every day. The mentally ill and "cashless bail" criminals roaming the streets attacking us at random, the police slow to respond, and in New York, total Democrat Pro-Criminal local government that will not even acknowledge what is going on since so-called "criminal justice reform"
Russell Scanlon (Santa Fe)
The Republican Party, like twitter, needs a national boycott.
teresa (Eugene, Oregon)
Why are we not all calling this by it's name: Domestic Terrorism? Domestic terrorists stormed the capitol on Jan. 6, and a Domestic Terrorist has just attacked an old man with a hammer because his wife is a democrat. Domestic Terrorists have arranged themselves into "militias" all over our country. Where is the War on Terrorism now?
AS (USA)
Obama last night campaigning for Warnock and Abrams: There are a lot of young people here,' Obama said. 'Some of you may not remember, but Herschel Walker was a heck of a football player.' 'But here's the question, does that make him the best person to represent you in the U.S. Senate? Does that make him equipped to weigh in on the critical decisions about our economy and our foreign policy and our future?' Obama then asked the audience to do a 'thought experiment' with him. 'Let's say you're at the airport and you see Mr. Walker and you say, "Hey, there's Herschel Walker, Heisman winner, let's have him fly the plane!"' Obama said. 'You probably wouldn't say that. You'd probably want to know, "Does he know how to fly an airplane?"' Obama laid out the same idea, but at a hospital. 'That Walker guy, he sure could tear him up at Sanford stadium, give him a scalpel,' Obama said to laughs. 'And by the way the opposite is true too, you may have liked me as president, but you would not want me starting as tailback for the Dogs,' Obama continued. 'Can you imagine my slow old skinny behind getting hit by some 300 pound defensive tackle ... you'd have to scrape me off the field.' 'No I can't,' Obama said.
Zeke (NYC)
Well, we knew it was just a matter of time. And guess what? It was a member of the Radical Right, MAGA Nation who attacked Mr. Pelosi and wanted to (most likely) kill Nancy Pelosi. I can't wait to see how Fox News, right-wing media, Facebook and QAnon spins this one. Fox has already started spinning it that it was the crime wave in California. LOL I strongly suggest that read, sorry Republicans, ask someone to help you, "The Storm Is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything" This guy was a major head case who had two blogs and has been posting the same crazy conspiracy theories that the QAnon, MAGA Nation, the Radical Right, and Trump have been spewing for years. If this was a Democrat who attacked a Republican in the same manner, this would be the main focus of all Republican tv ads between today and election day. I love when the Republicans reply to my post with their straw man comment "Whatabout" We are talking about here, today, now. Not what happened 5,10, 15 years ago. I also love when they declarative statements without any facts our sources whatsoever. You know, just like Fox News and right wing talk radio does every single day
Socrates (Downtown Verona, NJ)
Republican leaders will claim 'mental illness' of the perpetrator ....and then they will continue feeding millions of their deranged base more prepackaged hate, venom, spite, ill will, guns, ammo, conspiracy and resentment....and then they will feign surprise when the next right-wing violent attack on democracy and the republic occurs. The Republican party is actually feeding mental illness to its base on a daily basis. It's entire leadership - with a tiny handful of exceptions - feeds its base a giant bucket of lies, half-truths and distortions from morning til night while spending zero time helping its citizens....unless you count inflaming the masses with 'abortion is murder', arming every citizen with guns and ammo and impoverishing them with Trickle-Down Fraudonomics as helping the citizenry. The Republican Party has demonstrated that they don't care if their radical right-wing attacks the Capitol, the Congress, the Constitution, the republic, the Speaker of the House and democracy. Power - and greed - is more important to Republicans than having a civilization. “I cannot believe anybody would vote for these people” D for civilization; R for wrecking the republic.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
How sad, having to witness the collapse of 'our' democratic values, lately the malevolous intrigues planted by Donald Trump, the use of violence against democrats...by pushing hate, lies, conspiracies, resentments and division, shamelessly, continuously, aggressively, and based on no evidence whatsoever; just a vengeful attitude of an awful psychopath (a narcissist) of someone unwilling, or unable, to show an ounce of decency in recognizing he lost the elections...and the real chance to encumber himself as an autocrat. Now, having read Javier Marias' most recent book, a compilation of weekly stories, named "When Society is the Tyrant" ('Cuando la sociedad es el tirano'), it shows what happens when despotic 'leaders' 'a la Trump', sowing hate and the need to retribute with violence, have created a 'sick society' ready and willing to act violently. If Halloween were real, Trump's halloweenic sick mind has shown just that, a vengeful tyrant who pocketed emotionally a crowd of people feeling marginated and in need of revenge. We are living a 'cult of personality' towards a most disgraceful Donald Trump. The question is, how come is he allowed to spew lie after lie, and seeking revenge via his minions, without intervention? We all are for the freedom of expression of course; but Trump's license to cheat on us by spreading falsehoods is not freedom at all!
Par Ici (Par Là)
Maureen, The music from Fantasia is EXACTLY how I am feeling.
Cherrie McKenzie (Florida)
The Book of Proverbs talks about "A man will dig a hole for another and fall into it himself" and the Republicans should be worried because once you unleash the mob no one is ever "pure" enough. I'm reminded of Thomas Cromwell who famously helped Henry VIII chop off the head of Anne Boleyn only to meet the same fate himself. Republicans: Be careful what you wish for...
Gabrielle Rosewl (Philadelphia, PA)
These attacks on Democrats should fall under federal hate crimes.
dramaticartchild (New York)
We can talk about Trump, MTG, Carlson,and all the rest of Satan's little helpers all we want. But at a certain point, you have to blame the voters. They put these people where they are. None were appointed. They were, to a person, voted into office by American citizens. In short,Trump voting Americans are morally responsible for the results of their votes. End of story. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (otherwise known as moderately well-off white guys in predatory careers who want to smoke pot and enjoy the occasional threeway) are as morally responsible for the actions of the Trump Presidency as Trump himself. They put him there, and they like what he did. They tell us so all the time. They are the problem, and they must be held accountable. I don't know how, but I truly do not think we can heal until ordinary people are made to confront the pain their votes have caused their fellow citizens. Every single one of them. Oh, and ignorance of how our government works, how inflation works, how gas prices work are not excuses for pulling the lever for anyone with an R next to their name in 2022. If you're old enough to vote, you should know how these things work. If you don't, I'm sorry. Your ignorance is on you.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Senator McCarthy was right. The "Party of Red" is in with the "Red Party". Do you understand you disarmed our people? Do you understand why Republicans tried to start a train strike?
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita Ks, Homosassa Fl)
Monsters walk among us. They may look normal, or not. They may pretend to be average, everyday people. They may live law-abiding, respectable lives, until they don’t. They may blend in, and not garner attention, until they strike. Strike with a sudden act, unpredictable, until you really think about it. Of course this was going to happen. Not precisely this victim, at precisely this time, but this act. This was absolutely an assassination attempt, and the target was Speaker Pelosi. “Where’s Nancy ?!”- the clarion call of a MAGA devotee, a brainwashed fool, a tool of the Trump GOP. THIS is the pot at the end of their malignant rainbow. LOCK HIM UP. For Life.
Steve (Portland, ME)
This is what fascism looks like. Those who oppose the "legitimate" political party will be threatened, cast out, and, if necessary, beaten or killed. How ironic that Republicans are behaving in the exact same way like the dictatorships around the world that they claim to abhor and oppose.
Jos Huey (Santa Fe, NM)
“Sittin’ a park in Paris, France, readin’ the news and it sure looks bad…more about the war and the bloody changes.” Not sure Joni would want want to go back to CA OR anywhere in the usa. The south indeed has risen again. It is winning.
Doug (Wisconsin)
The PEOPLE are the problem. We are a sick society. It's hard to look anyone in the eye and know what's lurking. A character on the TV show Dexter once said: "We are all good, and we are all evil." Religious people say that the devil lurks in all of us.
Michael H. (Hamilton Canada)
America is sick. The Republican Party is the disease. You can be sure that everybody not living in America is sure of this diagnosis -- especially those who cheer on the illness. It is very possible that if the Republicans win congress and then the presidency, America will no longer be regarded as a friendly nation, but as a hostile and extremely dangerous one. You've run out the clock on our patience.
Joinery Piling Up (Charlottesville)
The far right is by far the most destructive and malignant force in our country.
Progressive Christian (Ithaca, NY)
As more information was coming out about the attacker and his Q-Anon fueled conspiracy theories about the stolen election and Covid vaccines causing mass deaths, along with praise for the former guy, I checked in on the Fox News website to see how they would be spinning it. Not surprisingly the headline and first few paragraphs were about another side of this disturbed man's life and obsessions, his alliance with a kooky public nudity activist in San Francisco. Buried down the article is a slim reference to his also spreading Covid conspiracy theories. Not a mention of the stolen election or his worship of the former guy. For those who avoid the "main stream media" and get all their news from Fox, this is a case of another crazy San Francisco left-winger and proof of how America is out of control because Democrats are soft on crime in places like San Francisco. Yes, I'm voting Blue to stop the rising tide of fascism, but I'm keeping my passport handy and making plans to get out soon.
Catherine Mckiernan (Las Vegas)
We are the monsters- allowing this/ voting for it/ believing untruths -
wakara (Oregon)
It is beyond time for the Republicans to take the appropriate stand on Trump who to this day still goes around the country fanning this nonsense that he won the election. Not doubt that these nuts that want to follow their cult leader would do anything to 'help' him reclaim what is 'rightly' his. The republicans first humored this toddler/expresident to ease his hurt feelings at his loss and then every chance they got let him by any responsibility . Naturally he grew stronger in his behavior and now many republicans I think would like him to go away. PATHETIC and only to keep their jobs DISPICABLE . ENOUGH This has to stop before we completely turn into a full banana republic
Michele (Seattle)
For those fooled by Youngkin’s goofy grin and as-shucks act, don’t be. He’s an authoritarian pretending to be Mr. Rogers in a fleece vest, but just as determined to take away women’s medical privacy, to persecute trans kids and their families, and to usher in the age of Gilead in this country. It is not too late to head off this horror movie. Vote Democratic up and down the ticket in November to keep the nightmare from becoming real.
habibe (OKC)
Trump needs to call off his dogs. Why does this man get away with everything horrible he has done. Who can explain this to me. This violent language and behavior is, some how, accepted.
Dana (Before the Mast)
As Maureen Dowd helps to illustrate, the fact of the matter is that we find ourselves in a time when lawlessness has been popularized by powerful individuals and media giants. We are witnessing the new crusaders, not for the Holy Land, but for control of a promise white European Christian settlers had written and cut out for themselves. This promise has no room for outsiders, other than the good ole boys that dominate board rooms, back rooms and the town saloon. With the election of a very unlikely sort (to be kind) for president in 2016 we now know full well that these lawless crusaders have the support of millions of clueless worshippers. That's called a what the ----! moment in history that can only be corrected by voters in a crippled Democracy. Vote Blue
Mike C. (Florida)
Trump and his dangerous cult are perfectly fine with political violence and death. They use it to intimidate the 70 percent of America that still believes in reality. Trumpers are now the most heavily armed mass of citizenry in the history of the world. You can’t be too careful around those sorts.
Mort (Brooklyn)
In NYC, the perpetrator would probably be granted “supervised release”—meaning they would just let him go awaiting distant hearings. At least they would if he had assaulted an average person.
Alan (Palm Beach gardens)
These acts should not be explained away. They are directly related to the toxic environment created by Donald Trump and his thugs. It tells all by his deliberate failure to denounce the attacker, a Trump lover. Just like Jan 6. Trump must be indicted for his crimes. Those who threaten election workers should be jailed. This must stop. FBI and Garland, where are you.
Tim C (Chicago)
Unsurprisingly there is not a word from the leader of this radical cult formerly known as a political party. The utter failure of our collective 'systems', checks and balances and rules of law to hold the man who really started this anarchy accountable for the tsunami of hate and lawlessness is, at this point nothing but a mockery of everything this country supposedly stands for.
cat (MI)
The crazies are the Republican shock troops. The slightly less crazy but bloodthirsty militias, staking out ballot boxes in their Walmart tactical gear and brandishing weapons, are the enforcers. The true believers now stacking in election departments, school boards, and various electoral positions are the machinery. The names of the fascists running the show are left as an exercise for the reader.
Randy Arnold (Chattanooga, TN)
Now that Elon Musk controls Twitter, expect the hateful rhetoric heard from Trump and his band of domestic terrorist to explode. Traditional media will continue to expose the falsehoods and propaganda preached by Trump and his weak brained followers, many of whom are running for office. It's a cliche, but it's never been more true: Vote as if your life depends on it.
DavidJ (NJ)
A friend of ours had stage four lung cancer. When we visited her one lovely spring afternoon, you couldn’t tell how ill she was, and she said, “I feel fine.” Three weeks later she was dead. I see America in the same light
Girish Kotwal (Louisville, KY)
Hope Paul Pelosi and Salman Rushdie have a speedy recovery and also 1000s who have been victims of record crime especially since J20, 2021. Yes America is haunted by its participation in foreign wars in which millions more Americans have laid down their lives than those defending America borders and the homeland. Since 911 US homeland has been attacked and 1000s of Americans have died at the hands of other Americans. The front line has moved to our homes in the USA and whether the home of the third in line to be president of USA, speaker Pelosi or the next likely governor of NY state, Lee Zeldin is unsafe, America is in a state of anarchy and high crime since J20, 2021.
F. McB (New York, NY)
How can we Protect her? How may Nancy's family and her husband, Paul, be respected. How can we show them and Nancy the Love that they deserve? See her in your mind. See her accomplishments. There has been no one better than Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi. Think of her accomplishments. Nancy Pelosi served on behalf of all Americans. We will protect Democracy with Nancy Pelosi's banner waving high.
hm1342 (NC)
"The police said the intruder was David DePape, a 42-year-old from Berkeley, Calif. CNN reported that DePape’s relatives confirmed that a Facebook account spewing Trumpian conspiracies on topics ranging from climate change to Covid was his." Like most of us, Maureen, we deplore the attack on Mr. Pelosi. But I was wondering if you posted a similar op-ed after the 2017 attack on Republican lawmakers by a Bernie Sanders supporter?
SMB (Savannah)
Feral is a good word here. I’ve been continually appalled by the war crimes happening in Ukraine with Russian soldiers reverting to barbarism reminiscent of Nazis or earlier savages. That seems to be where Trump Republicans are heading. The thin veneer of civilization and of decency were stripped away by Trump and what has emerged is barbarism. Bigotry, hatred, constant insults, and political terrorism have been encouraged and amplified across the GOP spectrum by politicians with their gun ads, donors pouring money into the campaigns of the worst, Fox and its propaganda fellow travelers, and the rest. White suprematists and domestic terrorists have attacked the U.S. Capitol, increased their hate crimes, and made death threats against politicians, election workers, doctors, and Democrats. Standing at polls with masked faces and guns is physical intimidation of voters that police have not stopped. Attacking an elderly sleeping spouse in his own home and bludgeoning him with multiple hammer strikes is savage violence. Misogyny is part of all this from the forced birthers denying women bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom and attacks on Speaker Pelosi and other prominent women. Every single aspect is a throwback to barbarism. Vote blue for democracy.
Aaron (Ohio)
This has nothing to do with crime. It’s an assassination attempt.
Grove (California)
It’s not really about Democrat vs Republican anymore. It’s Democracy vs Dictatorship.
VRizzo (Murrell Inlet, SC)
The right knows exactly what they are doing-- it is part of their playbook. They did it in the '60s with the John Birch "Society" and RW wackos who created an atmosphere of violence that inspired a series of "lone nuts" who killed off the liberal movement in America at that time. They are doing it again and we of an age are all holding our collected breaths fearing the worst-- again. Our greatest fear is that, like before, they create a narrative to cover their real intent. Violence as a way to impose their political will is the fascist playbook. It is the same strategy used before by the real assassins of Lincoln, the Kennedys, and Dr. King. Stoking fear and preaching hate have consequences. Paul Pelosi is simply fallout, "lone nuts" are the tools of their trade.
Grace (Virginia)
Maureen: "Now Republicans seem set to win back the House, and maybe the Senate, with a range of incompetent and hypocritical candidates." This is the drumbeat message of the New York Times. I think you are going to be proved wrong. Kansas WRT abortion rights was not an outlier. Readers: VOTE BLUE. Protect democracy. Inflation is temporary, and the GOP has no plans to address it anyway. VOTE BLUE.
Gary (New Mexico)
No doubt Trump admired Jerry Lee Lewis not for his music but rather his marriage to a 13-year old. The Pelosis have been married 59 years. Republican poster girls for family values like Sarah Palin and Marjorie Taylor Greene represent the moral chaos that also swirls around the likes of Matt Gaetz, who channels his inner Jerry Lee, and Newt Gingrich, who delivered his wife divorce papers as she lay in a hospital bed fighting cancer. Most Republicans can’t even be bothered to drop a word of sympathy for Paul and Nancy. They are the same ones who scream after a mass shooting, “This is not the time for politics!” when some Democrat notes that gun laws might prevent children’s dying. But if the victim’s a Democrat, cruel jokes and politic snark are all the rage. No prayers and thoughts wasted on the likes of Nancy and Paul. Meanwhile, out on the streets, gun-toting MAGAs shoot kids in passing trucks and each other’s daughters in fusillades of bullets and road rage, claiming impunity thanks to Stand Your Ground. Poised, they hope, to take Congress, or at least the House, Rs are salivating at the chance to embed their dystopia from coast to coast. Women in chains, guns everywhere, AR-15 acolytes haunting every polling place, white evangelical men supreme, presiding over a nation where every liberal fears for their life—it’s a dream to come true. The hounds of hatred strain at their leashes, Trump wields the knife to let them loose.
Girish Kotwal (Louisville, KY)
Hope Paul Pelosi and Salman Rushdie have a speedy recovery and also 1000s who have been victims of record crime especially since J20, 2021. Yes America is haunted by its participation in foreign wars in which millions more Americans have laid down their lives than those defending America borders and the homeland. Since 911 US homeland has been attacked and 1000s of Americans have died at the hands of other Americans. The front line has moved to our homes in the USA and whether the home of the third in line to be president of USA, speaker Pelosi or the next likely governor of NY state, Lee Zeldin is unsafe, America is in a state of anarchy and high crime since J20, 2021.
Tom Falvo (Douglas, Massachusetts)
This violence goes directly back to Trump and his vitriol.
TRK (USA)
One may wonder if the Bible should be taken literally. How is it possible, if the plagues of Egypt really did happen, for the Pharaoh to not change his ways. How is it possible, if Jesus did all these miracles, for the Pharisees to not change their ways. The Pharaoh hardened his heart and the Pharisees crucified Jesus on the cross. But you see modern day America, the election deniers, the Capitol rioters, the fake Christian leaders of our times. And then one realizes, yes, God is real. And nowhere in the Bible does it claim that God is for America.
rackjite (texas)
"Crime" MAGA blames Democrats for what is soundly "political crime" perpetuated by themselves. Jan6, most mass shootings, endless threats to Democrat officials and election workers. Full on armed, armored, masked men with machine guns intimidating voters at drop boxes. Already, in just a day Musk's Twitter is enhancing the hate and violence to 400 million people. And come January 21st, it will get a lot worse. Why? Because Republicans will fix inflation, drop gas prices and put and end to "crime" which is mostly suffered by black people in crowded poverty stricken inner cities. Yeah, right. My only hope is that after two years of them in control of The House, The Senate, The Supreme Court, more Governors and more state election deniers, we the people will put MAGA into the trashbin of American history where it has always belonged.
Blue fisherman Bloom (Port Jeff)
Maureen, the guy was a drug addled nut job. It’s not like this kind of thing never happened before. You’re making it into something bigger than it is. Stoking fear and hate. When I was a kid, we played and roamed and hung out all over the place. Mostly within a one mile radius of our homes, but sometimes much further. No one ever got snatched or murdered. Then the milk cartons started carrying the “Have You Seen Me” pictures on their sides. Parents got scared, and childhood changed. It became much more regulated, constrained, and hovered over. Kids grew into adults without experiencing freedom. Because a handful of kids (out of tens of millions) got snatched, by some rare and random nut job. And the milk people thought they could help.
BB (LA)
The criminal that assaulted Paul Pelosi is a Canadian citizen. He has been homeless for years.....and was a known drug addict with a criminal record. He's one of the many thousands of mentally ill homeless living in the SF area. Pacific Heights isn't what it used to be. This is one of many break-ins in that area. It's an indictment of the Mayor and DA's policies.
Voelteer (NYC, USA)
This sort of violence occurs on any given street in any given town at any given time in these United States, but it takes an attack on someone from the 1% -- a convicted drunk driver and probably an insider trader, too -- to raise the ire of the NYTimes commentariat? Dear readers, *that* is the real tragedy in this country.
conryw (San Francisco)
"If you think Washington is monstrous now, just wait." Huh? Darlin' where have been?
Jonathan (Boston, MA)
We must remember that much of the current violence -- Jan. 6, the Pelosi attack -- has one common source: Trump's Big Lie
morGan (NYC)
Maureen, The day we hit them back 10 times harder will be the day they stop, once and for all. Biden and Garland have been cuddling the TIC for almost two years after openly plotting and inciting a deadly insurrection where his terrorist insurrectionists were chanting " Oh Nancy, where are you, Nancy". The TIC should have been arrested on January 21, 2021, held for his coup attempt, prosecuted, jailed, or executed. There will be no threat from his criminal terrorist cult to any unarmed citizen. They are not blind. They see and hear the TIC sticking his middle finger at all of us every day. Now, they are openly intimidating us at polling places, armed to the teeth. And Biden and Garland are completely lost. They have no idea what to do. TIC ref Twice Impeached Criminal.
Andrew (Philadelphia)
Maybe someday a normal, mainstream Republican will emerge and lead that wretched party towards the light of decency and humanity. But for now a party consisting mainly of Big Lie believers, combined with gerrymandering and voter suppression, will ensure that America will be a pathetic nation for years to come. And those who vote for them are just as bad!
Darla (NY)
This began long before Jan 6. Remember Maxine Watters urging her minions to get in the face of Trump cabinet members? Remember the man who planned to attack Justice Kavanaugh? Remember the man with the knife who attacked Lee zeldin at a campaign rally? Remember the man who shot Gabby Gifford? Remember the man who broke Rand Paul's ribs? Remember the man who shot Steve Scalese? Until there is a return to civility this will never end
Shawn Stiver (Ohio)
I guess she forgot to mention the attempted attack on Justice Kavanaugh or when the Bernie Bro tried to shoot the entire Republican softball team?
Michael Roberts (Ozarks)
Crazies, like the guy that attacked Paul Pelosi, come in Red and Blue and no color at all. However, only one color has elected officials, in the highest offices, that egg them on by knowingly spreading lies and discounting their horrible actions like attacking our Capitol building.
XXX (Somewhere in the U.S.A.)
It's mass psychosis. Trump is a criminal who ran an openly corrupt administration, then tried to overthrow the government and make himself dictator. The Republicans, at all levels of government, Cheney and Kinzinger excepted, are at worst his accomplices and at best his abettors. It's nothing but lies and crime, and it's all out in the open. (Yes, the Hogans and Romneys of the party are abettors.) The far-right talk show agitators have made this country increasingly a place of political violence and just plain in-your-face nastiness. Also lethal stupidity, as in vaccine rejection. Nearly half the public is going to vote for these people. ??? I hope Nancy Pelosi comes out straight and in plain language blames it personally on Trump, McConnell, McCarthy and the Congressional Republicans, because it is Trump who made this happen and the others who enabled it.
Voter (Chicago)
Donald Trump himself should be indicted by the San Francisco District Attorney for being a co-conspirator in this crime. It's that simple. He incited this dastardly criminal act. Lock him up!
Rob Kneller (New Jersey)
The attack on Paul Pelosi was a direct result of the stochastic terrorism incited by Trump, Youngkin, Bobert, Marjorie Taylor Greene and other loony Republicans. We saw the results of their incitement on January 6 in the worst attack on on our democracy since 1812. They seek to intimidate voters and elected officials and their goal is a one party fascist government. They must be shown that this will not succeed.
cbindc (dc)
A new Republican hero.
witz (miami)
Republicans, pay attention: You can't deny that the goof who attacked Paul Pelosi is truly one of yours, can't claim he is just a random nut, can't diminish his manic crime by saying there are crazies, too, on the left. There are too many such crackpots running around loose, spouting the same lies that the rest of you spread so recklessly, to dismiss them as a fringe. They are not a fringe; they are the cream of your party's crop, its essential base, the source of all its political power and entirely representative of what it stands for. You stand with them, arm in arm. Yes you do. They are yours and, as long as they are, you are theirs.
Citizen & veteran (Millbrook NY)
My thoughts?...............It is over, Democracy that is. Trump not responding to the attack proves to me we are in for more of these dangerous insults. His troops catch his drift and it's only the tip of the iceberg. A vile person at the head of a vile Party
GF (RI)
When was the good old days? The days without yellow journalism? The days of peace and love? The days when you could walk the streets unafraid? Was there ever such a time or are we always afraid of some boogie man? You can choose fear and say that is why everything is so awful or you can choose to do something about it. Or you can stay the same and realize that over 90% of the planet live as you do. Fear is the path to the dark side … fear leads to anger … anger leads to hate … hate leads to suffering. Suffering leads to more clicks and follows.
Kevin Cahill (87106)
Well, I voted absentee a straight Democratic ticket, but I did so reluctantly because of their support for the stupid, dangerous Ukraine war.
RonWhere’s (Texas)
It’s very telling that Don Trump was sympathetic to the death of Jerry Lee Lewis, but Trump said nothing about the near death attack on Paul Pelosi. Don Trump inspired the Jan. 6th Capitol attack. As attackers ransacked the Capitol, they shouted”Where’s Nancy?” The Polosi shouted “ “Where’s Nancy” in Mr. pelosi’s face while bashing Paul in the face with a hammer. The hammer attack on Paul Pelosi has Don Trump’s finger prints all over it, because the attacker wanted to hurt Speaker Pelosi, as did the Capitol rioters. Thank goodness Mr.Pelosi survived and continue the couple’s 59 year marriage.
Socrates (Downtown Verona, NJ)
It's true that Republicans have no plan to solve any of our many public policy problems. But they do have a very detailed plan to obtain and maintain power. Divide. Incite civil unrest. Lie. Propagate lies. Feed people conspiracy theories. Obstruct. Widen the billionaire Dark Money political pipelines. Reduce the court system to a Republican law firm. Destroy functional government. Deregulate everything (except control over female bodies) Stop the vote casting and counting. Defeat democracy. Ensure dollarocracy, theocracy and kakistocracy. Tax poor. Feed the rich. The GOP plan has been working astonishingly well since they hijacked the 2000 election in Florida. They will stop at nothing; they have stopped at nothing as they continue to drive their voter base berserk. The perpetrator was a QAnon and Big Lie cheerleader consumed with hate for the left fed to him by the Grand Old Propaganda industrial complex. The radical Republican Party is the nation's #1 national security and public safety threat. Not Russia. Not Iran. Not North Korea. Not China. “I cannot believe anybody would vote for these people”
Garry (Philadelphia)
That the word monstrous is used to describe Washington if Republicans win control of congress is appropriate. The Republican party is led by a monstrous slob of a human being who has visions of returning to the White House after the 2024 election. What is wrong with the people who support this horrible person? Do you find his lack of class, grace, integrity, decency, intelligence, empathy appealing? If so, what does that say about you? God help the US.
mancuroc (rochester)
Surely there's some mistake? The visitor to Pelosi's home who asked for Nancy was simply paying a social call; just as the tourists who roamed the halls of the Capitol on January 6 loudly calling her name merely wished to share their opinions with her. 17:55 EDT, 10/29
james devine (minnesota)
It's not just trump. This is the world the GOP has given us. The Koch's, the Mercers, Limbaugh, the SCOTUS, and Bannon. All of the enablers have been preaching, praising, and pushing violence. I personally believe they would be quite happy to kill all of their opposition. In the name of Jesus, of course.
Nancie (California Coast)
"The attack on Mr. Pelosi comes after right-wing figures have so often advocated violence against the House speaker that the rioters on January 6 roamed the U.S. Capitol calling for her in the singsong cadences of a horror movie. Before she ran for Congress, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said Pelosi was a “traitor” and told her listeners that treason is “a crime punishable by death,” and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) once “joked” about hitting Speaker Pelosi with the speaker’s gavel if he becomes speaker himself, prompting laughter from his audience." Heather Cox Richardson
Wrigley (Los Angeles)
How brave Republicans are. How fearless. Their unhinged, frothing at the mouth hatred for an 82 year old grandmother found its release in the beat down of her 82 year old husband. Stand proud party of Lincoln. Stand proud.
Janice (New Orleans)
While focusing on the ills and horrors of America, where every day is Halloween without the joyful creepiness, it is interesting that you referenced Bald Mountain, located in Ukraine, which is also currently a site of good vs evil. Based on those responses to the grave Pelosi incident from crass Cruz the crud, along with fellow wannabe president yucky Youngkin, it is evident they are not only disgracefully shameless but clearly the more evil of the current 2 parties. (The Trumpian era has unfortunately brought out childish name calling from many adults, but the words are quite fair in this case, and at least Dems and Independents, including myself, don’t use “sticks & stones” plus hammers...)
Tony (Santa Cruz)
America is no longer the melting pot. We have morphed into the fruit salad where everyone retains their clan attachment. We no longer see America as a beacon of freedom. We have cancel culture of the left, we have the bring back segregation of the right with their replacement theory. We now call black Americans African Americans. They are Americans, they have never been to Africa and for the last 300+ years have lived and developed America. We have Chinese people that have lived in America for hundreds of years now called Asian Americans. Until we stop and call all Americans Americans, we will always have people that want to dived us to exploit their opportunities. America is an idea that can change as the constitution can change, and I hope we change for the better. Unfortunately, we are changing for the worst. I love America, I served in the US Army, it's my adopted home after I was made a refugee in my home of birth, Palestine.
Tom Q (Minneapolis, MN)
David DePape may be expecting a pardon from whom he expects to be the next president.
Blackmamba (IL)
Nonsense. From the group and individual context and perspective of Black African and brown Indigenous men, women and children living in our very peculiar divided limited different power constitutional republic of united states their lives have never been safely and securely divinely naturally created equal persons with certain unalienable rights of life, liberty and their pursuit of happiness. When will the blood sweat and tears of Black African and brown Indigenous men, women and children lives finally and fully matter in America? ' We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. It landed on us.' Malcolm X
Glenn (Earth. what’s left of it)
Someone needs to lock these people up and throw the key away, starting with the big mouths who continue to spout their sickness and lies. The attack on Mr. Pelosi is outrageous and inhumane behavior. We don’t live in the Dark Ages, or maybe we do because of people like TFG and his henchmen. Our freedoms are being eroded on a daily basis. ENOUGH ALREADY. Time to put punks away.
Dan Sullivan (Huntington, NY)
When you were a kid, crime was way worse.
John (Oregon)
Give me a break. The intruder was a mentally ill whacko. Trying to make it into a national trend is ridiculous ("...a feral mood has taken hold. If you think Washington is monstrous now, just wait"). The only reason irrational crime has become rampant is Democratic Governors, Mayors and DAs letting it happen, releasing felons, eliminating bails and not stopping criminals.
Xander Miasma (Florida)
When I am paired up with trumpers on the golf course, I brace for the predictable stream of echo-chamber nonsense. Never an original thought. Scary times are these.
David Henry (Concord)
Joe McCarthy demonized "communists" Nixon demonized war protestors. Reagan demonized "welfare queens" and "government." The Bush family demonized Willie Horton and Iraq. The GOP demonizes Hillary and Nancy. GOP hasn’t changed in 70 years.
M Andrew (FL)
People are generally quite gullible and easily manipulated. This is the problem
Longfellow Lives (Portland, ME)
"You'll never take back your country with weakness," said the former, twice impeached president. Calls for civil war have increased exponentially on social media by the radical right and when Elon took over Twitter, the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism reported a sharp rise in racist and antisemitic language. Some in the right wing media are actually blaming Biden (of course) for failing the unify the country. Trump, backed into a corner like a rat in a trap, called on his followers to instigate violence. He knows that whipping up his radicalized base is his only way out of being held accountable for his treason. But, we must hold him accountable whatever the cost.
Tom’s Quill (Monticello)
Despite all of our miraculous progress — from penicillin to iPads, from air travel to GPS — the evil that seems to be hard-wired into human DNA is just as real now as when Atilla the Hun savaged the west1600 years ago. We can never let our guard down. We must expect the repeated emergence of raw evil, forever.
Vince (NJ)
When I’m watching police officers at the Capitol be murdered by those who lie about “backing the blue” and see my loved ones cast ballots for the candidates that Russia, North Korea, and now Saudi Arabia want elected, I can’t help but be reminded that Ms. Dowd’s assessment is far too cheery for reality.
MayberryMachiavellian (Fairvale, CA)
Perfect timing Maureen — there’s definitely something in the air, and it ain’t good. We live 5 blocks down the street from Paul and Nancy’s beautiful home. Minutes ago I was driving down the street a block from my home. My entire lane was blocked by two big men swaggering in the middle of the street. I couldn’t understand why they weren’t on the sidewalk and lightly tapped on my horn to let them know I was perhaps 100 feet behind them, assuming they would quickly move out of the way. Instead, they both turned and confronted me and started threatening me. My apparent offense was wanting to drive down the street a few hundred feet from my home. “You got a problem buddy?” they taunted, menacingly. These were not street people — they looked like well-fed, prosperous jocks — a description that could easily apply to me, although I can’t imagine provoking strangers with such antisocial behavior. Whatever their demographic profile, they were gratuitously truculent, entitled, awful men, right here on a beautiful sunny day in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world, pointlessly aggravating a total stranger, apparently just for their own amusement. And now, once I’m safely in the door, the first thing I read is this. I hope that Paul Pelosi has a full recovery, that Madam Speaker does not have to surrender her gavel to the odious McCarthy— who has “jokingly” threatened to hit her with it — and that the menacing, entitled bullies of America get their just desserts
Dale Davis (Richmond, VA)
So ashamed of our governor.
Normal (Cass county)
Politics should not evolve into killing the opposition. This has gone too far. The GOP is directly responsible for this event. No question. Done. Guilty. Their base is primed to do this. They have to stop.
LeBron (CA)
It’s fascinating how close-minded so many are. They conveniently forget that Republican Congressman Scalise was shot by an anti-Trump left-wing domestic terrorist, and Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh was the target of an assassination attempt this past June. We have eyes but we cannot see.
Andrew (Canada)
"Now Republicans seem set to win back the House, and maybe the Senate, with a range of incompetent and hypocritical candidates." 1) My sympathies to the Pelosi family. Such violence is cowardly and very GOP. 2) I'm beginning to doubt the left-wing angst about the death of democracy in the USA. Gerrymandering and voter suppression aside, it is very clear that half of the population actually does support these clowns the GOP have presented for election. And they will win... in free and fair elections which I have never seen any evidence to suggest are corrupt. Isn't that democracy at work? Democracy is producing a result I despise, but it seems more clear than ever that half of the population is ready and eager to vote for clowns. To paraphrase someone more famous than me: Democracy is messy, but it's better than any other system. And there is a hell of mess to clean up.
b.quinn (tahoe)
The U.S. is not a democracy, if it was Al Gore would have been president, and Trump would have been defeated.
Dom (Bradenton)
I understand Mr. and Mrs. Pelosi live in a tony area of San Francisco. How did the word “tony” ever come to mean “genteel” and “upscale”? When I lived in New York, I never met a Tony like that.
2manyhorsez (DC area)
It's beyond time for us to take back the airwaves and control "social media". This violent propaganda and conspiracy theories...along with election lies, have led this country to the edge of sanity. The GQP will NOT call out their own. It is time we, the vast majority, took control of this obscene violence fest foisted on us by DJT and his deranged and dangerous cult members. If you do not vote blue in the midterms, you are involved in the violent demise of democracy in America. Think, for a change, before you vote. The current situation is obscene.
SoStrand (Victoria)
Dowd’s observations on these unsettled times certainly ring true, not just in America but around the world.
WILLIAM (OHIO)
It is 2022. The nation is still living with what the former president calls the “stolen election of 2020.” It still haunts us as Maureen Dowd says. This is unfortunate in a democracy. First, there was the insurrection in the Capital on January 6,2021. Encouraged by Trump, a mob broke into the Capital searching for “Nancy” and broke into her office and stole many of her official documents. Fortunately, Nancy with other legislators was hiding in a bunker. Then, just yesterday, an armed 42 year old assailant named David De Pape armed with a hammer broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco and asked Paul Pelosi “Where is Nancy?” and proceeded to hit him in the head with his hammer, causing a seriously fractured skull which required extensive surgery. Paul Pelosi is fortunate to be alive. Fortunately, Nancy was in New York. What all of this amounts to is the implication of Trump as De Pape’s relatives had many tweets where Trump had been critical of Ms. Pelosi’s measures as Speaker. This gives more than sufficient reason to indict Trump and to bar him from seeking office. I have as of today voted early and have voted STRAIGHT DEMOCRAT.
Bob (Sunnyvale,Ca)
Seems like this hate began with the emergence of the Tea Party, and having Obama in the White House. It elevated to craziness and conspiracy under Trump and his antics. He gave license to people with conspiratorial and crazy beliefs, along with those with deep seated frustrations of being left behind, to come out from under the rocks. This is all going to get worse before it’s over. This nonsense can only stop when national political leaders unite in saying this has to stop. Unfortunately, the behavior of too many of our political leaders in Washington is a grown up version of children on a playground. We are in a very bad place in this country. As long as Biden is president there is some solace, but not much. It’s scary to think what’s next if the crazies get control of government, and that could happen soon. The root of the problem lies with the extremism of the far right and far left. Trump has fed, and feeds off both. We are in a mess!
Opinionista (NYC)
America, bipolar you, politically correct, raging inside, we’re really two, we’re not what all expect. It’s the new normal. On your guard, protect yourself, defend. Each truth replaced by a canard. A fabric that won’t mend. Entitlement of crazy fools. A people too diverse. Erosion of all social rules. We no longer converse. It will end up in violence. Lip service. Confrontation. We all know how this struggle ends. Breakdown and desperation. We live in the United States, united by a lie. That we will compromise as mates who can see eye to eye. Good luck with that. Say what you want. Liars are taking charge. The mob complies. Their guns they flaunt. Chaos is looming large.
JVV (Nashville)
The most perfect pop culture encapsulation of our current moment is a Geico commercial. Every day that I awake in the U.S., I experience the terror and helplessness of the stranded teenagers who, in their irrational panic, decide to hide behind a wall of chainsaws rather than escape in a running vehicle. But it's the weary-eyed, disdainful headshake of the potential murderer, watching their indecision, with whom I most relate. Every day, watching every stupid, outrageous, and misguided attempt to extricate ourselves from this horror movie just makes me tired.
Marko (Pa)
I’m as outraged and scared as you are, Maureen, as is virtually everyone I know. However, I’d be careful about characterizing the attacker as a “maniac”. He’s actually part of a carefully orchestrated plot to undermine our government and democracy, to be replaced by an autocratic and fascistic order. He’s not really a solitary agent, but a sucker for, and agent of, the right wing conspiracy. In Bob Dylan’s words, he’s only a pawn in their game.
baldo (Massachusetts)
@John K. More GOP projection. You conveniently forget that in the spring of 2020 we were faced with a novel, deadly virus and had no tools other than quarantine, masks and handwashing. The public health measures put into place absolutely did NOT defy "logic, science and reason". They WERE logical, based upon the state of scientific knowledge at the time. As far as which party is more autocratic, well how much diversity of opinion is permitted in today's GOP?
Scott (New Brunswick Canada)
@John K. Actions during an unprecedented global health crisis are slightly different than the systematic dismantling of democracy. Blocking a supreme court nomination "just because" - now thats machiavellian.
Cooofnj (New Jersey)
@John K. Data please. You make an assertion that Democratic governors made decisions that defied science and logic and that makes Democratic politicians demonstrably more autocratic. What decisions? Mask mandates? Vaccine mandates? School closures? No governor did a perfect job, but, as a scientist, I completely disagree with you that Democratic governors made decisions that defied science and logic.
DebE (SOMA)
Are we irreversibly broken because of the division, lies, hate, greed and selfishness put forth by one man and accepted by millions? You don't think one man can generate this level of strife? Well add a worldwide pandemic changing our former way of life with the resulting inflation, a climate rapidly changing causing widespread devastation, and now machinery that allows for the mass killing of hundreds at a time on our streets, schools and where we worship, that is made easily available that a group that seems to want nothing more than power and no plans as to how to use it to help people when they get it. Don't think it can happen here? Don't think that one man can be the precipitating factor to so much strife? Then, you haven't been paying attention to history. Start with the 1930s in Germany. Yes, it can happen here. Democrats are trying to improve our lives. I wish I could say the same about Republicans who for the most unbelievable reasons are likely to be the majority in a few months.. We are headed for some much darker days. And no I don't think this is hyperbolic at all.
des johnson (Forest Hills)
@DebE: "the most unbelievable reasons..." Not unbelievable. Rooted in history. The voyage of Columbus was funded by the same Spanish monarchs who incited the Spanish Inquisition. Columbus's men all came from a Spain and Europe rank with anti-Semitism and racism. The Pilgrim Fathers were religious bigots, The Jamestown colonists were cut from the same cloth that gave England the brutal bigot Cromwell. America has come a long way, but historical roots still send out bitter fruits.
Richard Blaine (Not NYC)
@DebE What you are missing is that the groundwork of polarization was done for the former guy in the previous 25 years. . And, just as in the 1930's, it was financed by the Oil industry. . Political campaigns, particularly ones that run, continuously, for 20, 25, or 30 years cost a lot of money, and take a lot of organization. . And at the bottom of this one is the determination of the oil industry to prevent anything from being done about Climate Change. . They have shown, time after time, that they are prepared to destroy democracy and to let the plant burn to a crisp, just so long as they can sell one more drop of gasoline. . The part you are missing is the money. . It comes from Oil.
Dave (Ohio)
@des johnson Quite true, but a little closer to our current horror show - start with McCarthyism, Goldwater's nomination, Nixon's dirty tricks, Reagan and the influence of "The Moral Majority," W. Bush's 8 years of international bloodshed, the rise of the Tea Party, Newt, Fox News propaganda, the influence of the Federalist Society... someone help me fill in this timeline... and then the perfect storm of MAGA/Trumpism. This horror show has been brewing for (at least) 70 years.
Maureen downs (Boston, Ma)
Here we go - commenters pretending, and lying, saying this hate is coming from "both sides". No, it isnt. Fox News spews hate and falsehoods 24 hours a day. Prominent republicans are still denying the 2020 election even though they know very well that it wasn't stolen. Trump lost. They lie about abortion, teachers and LBGTQ people. The fever swamps of the internet are sickening in their hate and outrageous claims. They think dead first graders are an acceptable price to pay so they can bring a machine gun to intimidate people at ballot drop off boxes. Save your " both sides" garbage. It isn't both sides.
Kathleen L. (NYC)
Thank you. This is not preschool. The violent rhetoric on the right comes from the top. The same cannot be said of the left, and we don’t need to indulge the childish pettiness of the right before we’re allowed to criticize them.
Fester (Columbus)
@Maureen downs Yes, I didn't see anyone wearing a Bernie shirt attacking the Capitol and beating police officers to death.
Steve (New York)
@Fester I like how the Republicans like to point out that the man who shot Scalise was a Sanders supporter but don't mention that unlike Trump and many other Republicans, Sanders has never encouraged anybody to beat up people who disagree with him.
Anne (Madison, WI)
My only concern: Why on earth was Paul Pelosi, an 81 year old spouse of the third in line to the Presidency, be alone at home? Home Alone - not just for kids.
Citizen (NYC)
Why can’t we get an accurate account of what took place? Was there one hammer or two? Who used the hammer(s) first? why did the police not stop the violence if they were there? How did Pelosi call 911? I’ve never seen such terrible reporting in my life.
Sharon (Tennessee)
I cannot believe that anyone would vote for this kind of behavior, but I also cannot understand how Putin would back out of a deal to alleviate a coming global food crisis. But then, most days, I cannot believe humanity is this corrupt.
Max Collodi (New Jersey)
Republican politicians are far worse than the unbalanced individual who attacked Mr. Pelosi. I don’t recall any pushback by Republicans on the January 6th mob when they were hunting down Nancy Pelosi. They did, however, blame her for the lax security at the Capitol. As we speak, there are Congress people who consider her guilty of treason and remind us that treason is punishable by death. Donald Trump’s silence is a tacit approval. So I can’t believe I’m saying that Republicans are ok with murder. Sadly, this isn’t the thinking of a small fringe element; it’s the position of a significant portion of the party.
Susan Shea (SF)
Let's not wind up with, "Oh well, the attacker was mentally ill" as if that excuses either him or the massive vitriol spewing from the Republican Party and its allies. They know their work is in part to pump up random individuals of shaky emotion to do the work for them while they hide behind plausible deniability.
KARD (USA)
Gov. Youngkin deserves to be removed from office for his remarks concerning Nancy Pelosi and the awful attack on her husband. I guess he espouses Christianity? That’s certainly not a Christian, or indeed any response, that a genuine spiritual path would endorse. Would Youngkin be so cruelly cavalier if his family had been threatened or hurt? At least he could pretend to be horrified. Where is the civility and regard for another’s privacy and safety? This evil hate that seemingly erupts from everywhere is so deeply abhorrent to me yet millions in our society feel it is their due…their deserved pound of flesh to be delivered by whatever means they choose. It feels like we are very much lost. Fascism in it’s latest form: far right Republican “values” are threats to our democracy and free thinking people. And any safety net is torn completely away. Do far right haters think their cancer will only be experienced by liberals or progressives? Indeed, they light fires that will consume them as well. Why can’t hate be societally recognized as wrong?
HOUDINI (New York City)
I don't think I am wrong in mentioning Mr. Trump and his call to his followers to "attack" police and law enforcement after the FBI raid on his club where The Espionage Act was cited. A few days later a man in Ohio opened fire on an FBI HQ and that man is now dead. Ask yourself: Is this permissible? How many times does Trump have to open his mouth and therefore have people die? The list is long – when is enough enough?
John (Los Angeles)
Just say, “Election was Corrupt. Leave the rest to me and Republican Congressmen” This is what they have sown.
John B. (NY)
According to the AP, yesterday, amidst the news about the murderous assault on Paul Pelosi, Trump launched a vicious attack on the veteran judge in the NY civil case against his company for rulings that didn't go his way. “His name is Arthur Engoron & he is a vicious, biased, and mean ‘rubber stamp’ for the Communist takeover of the great & prosperous American company that I have built over a long period of years," Trump wrote on his social media site. If someone now attacks this judge for the "crime" of doing his job, we'll know why. Make no mistake, Trump is the source of ALL of this.
pjc (Cleveland)
Luckily for me, "flirts with horror" has always been a red flag in my dating life. My Mom raised a good kid. Some people *actually* flirt with horror, is my point. I don't want none of that, thank you. I'm a reasonable person, but unless we are talking a movie or a holiday, I do enjoy a good horror-free day. Not everyone feels that way, of course. The Republican Party used to be the party of drama. Newt and the Ferocity of the Lambs. Now it's moving into specific genres. Horror. Apocalypse. Fairy Tales (The Virgin Bride). Gore -- no not that guy! Farce.
thezaz (Canada)
Where is the secret service ? Even Trump's children get protection. Isn't Nancy third in line for the presidency?
nelsonator (Florida)
I predict a very strong showing for the Libertarian Party from now on.
Amy (Evanston, IL)
The young man who shot up my neighboring community of Highland Park on July 4th also had a right wing screed written online. The media barely mentioned it. And now, a few months later, it's been largely forgotten outside of the local community. These young men are being purposely radicalized online (similarly to ISIS in my opinion) with the blessing of the MAGA extremists and tolerated by the old school republicans for votes. This must be called out in the press with more vigor then is currently happening. I don't know what can legally be done about these right wing echo chambers breeding this discussing hate online, on TV and on the radio. But, I do think, at the very least, the mainstream media needs to stop with their tiptoing around this issue and speak the truth, loudly.
Julia (NY,NY)
it's all the hate speech. It's coming from the right and the left. Nancy Pelosi said on camera she wanted to punch trump in the face. John Fetterman's wife said the NBC journalist should have consequences because she didn't like her interview.
North (NorthWest)
Democracy in our Republic has never been pretty or neat. Recall Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.
Kenneth Joseph Marsh (Anaheim, CA)
Next time an epidemic comes, I say: let it run its course naturally. A bit more natural selection would be good for the country and I posit that it would eliminate many on the kook-fringe, and that’s not a bad thing. It might even save SS as those who paid in won’t take out.
Twg (NV)
I want to know why former GOP leaders like George W. Bush aren't speaking out against the increasing use of violence by the Trumpian GOP in politics? Why has George W. Bush remained so silent, unlike Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger?
Gary C (Olympic Peninsula)
Kevin McCarthy and the Republican leadership once cowered in fear of a violent MAGA mob. Now they fancy themselves heroically astride it, riding to a glorious victory. Kevin perhaps envisions the holy grail, his statue in an airport! Tragically, the mob has but one master, and at his word they will cheerfully trample the lot of them underfoot.
Sunshine (CT)
When a major political party, its leader, and news outlets instigate violence and promote conspiracy theories this is a logical outcome.
Flaminia (Los Angeles)
I find a little dark humor in the fact that DePape grew up in Canada, our ostensibly sensible northern neighbor. I know that it is the standard playbook to discount the acts of a lunatic but the fact is that the cynical and irresponsible posturing of media hounds like Carlson and Trump and "Ye" inspire the unhinged to do exactly the sort of thing that happened here. One follows the other just as inexorably as a stampede follows a shout of "Fire!" in a crowded theater.
FL Sam (Long Island NY)
My grandmother, who spoke mostly Yiddish, used a word, rarely uttered, but always with an exclamation point in its tone. That word, "takeh!" is approximately what people nowadays mean as they call out "yeah, really!" She definitely would have said "takeh!" after reading this article. So do I. She wept when Khrushchev banged his shoe on the desk at the UN, and she cried in Yiddish the words for "where will we go?" Now, all these years later, it's my turn to cry, albeit in English... .
Partha Neogy (California)
I keep thinking of Yeats' The Second Coming these days. Especially, "And what rough beast, its hour come round at last Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"
Barbara (San Diego)
Great analogy. The U.S. is part Halloween and part 30’s Germany and feels like a terrible dream.
Peter Olafson (La Jolla, CA)
Sad to say, this column could have been written virtually every day of this awful year, with new incidents and quotes. How did it get so bad so quickly?
Victoria (Pacific Northwest)
It feels that we are in the rapids of a river of no return. And that it could be a frightful Halloween in America every single day.
Ada (Virginia)
Outrage, disappointment, frustration, fear are among the many emotions I feel watching the unraveling of our institutions, system of government, in other words our democracy. We all know who brought this to us and the damage it has cause to the country. Only because an election was lost and in his thirst for power created the big lie that only fools believe. I hope the country will be able to survive this attack to the core of our democratic values.
Hector Perez (San Juan)
The calculus has been wrong. Cult members are not moved by facts or reason, but by raw emotion and tribalism. That is what's happening in the other side. It's not about lies vs truth upright citizens vs immoral ones. It's about power at any cost, other considerations be dammed.
Aimee p (Arlington texas)
You’re just the best there is. And you’re spot on. You know how to express the too muchness of this horror show we’re living through. How does it stop?
John (Bristol UK)
So American politics is getting more violent. Welcome to the Club On 15 October 2021, Sir David Amess, a British Conservative Party politician and Member of Parliament for Southend West, died after being stabbed multiple times Political violence is increasing world wide. It is NOT just the US
Tom (Edmonton, Canada)
America has gone flat out crazy. Virtually everyone in the US can obtain hand guns or automatic weapons without a license and multiple mass murders occur almost every day. I have not visited the United States in 12 years for obvious reasons. It is simply too dangerous. On the other hand I have regularly backpacked on many very long, exotic treks in Africa, Nepal and other Third World countries for 50 years. Canada is far from perfect, but as a nation we look in horror at America's daily carnage. Wake up and look in the mirror.
Albanywala (Albany, NY)
No matter that the current violent hatred is being propagated from one side the fact remains that America has been a violent society all along. With the glorification of guns and violence in its culture and society it is no surprise. Par for the American civilization!
ACB (CT)
It was said by the ringmaster, “ I love the uneducated”. And his cohorts promote, daily, hate. We know this. But no one, no one, the Justice Dept, the Congress, the Senate, steps in to stop the spewing of hate and lies, hence the violence. Step up all of you, because Putin is loving this. He and Trump orchestrated this for their own ends.
LaCapitalista (San Francisco)
Can we just forget about blame for once and agree that this was wrong?
Ama Nesciri (Camden Maine)
Let's pretend the insufficiently sympathetic and civil-minded disabled among us are only gussying up for Halloween by being thoughtless, unkind, and crass in their attempt to frighten the rest of us and run away with the spoils of the coming election. Maybe it is a bad character costume shared and worn by MAGA revelers who've slogged through the poison fog atmosphere of brain-fried besotted monsters who do not care and have no moral foundation to hold them steady. I trust and pray Mr. Pelosi will recover from his awful experience. I'm unsure the flash mob of mindless followers of our current craven right-wing politicians have any hope in the near-time of unearthing the necessary redeeming virtues to bring them back from their awful and terrifying fantasies.
Joe (Raleigh, NC)
Some call for more availability of mental health treatment, but that's only a small part of the picture. When alienated, confused individuals turn their attention to creating attacks like this one, and the Jan. 6 riot, and to kidnapping a governor, it's because someone has manipulated them into doing so. Of course, the manipulator's fingerprints aren't *quite* on those deeds -- and so he sits, laughing his head off, at Mar-A-Lago.
S Tveskov (which Is A Danish Name…just FYI) (Vancouver By Way Of CT 🇩🇰)
It may not matter, but I haven’t seen it mentioned in the NYT or on US tv that this criminal who may yes be from California, moved there at about age 22 after growing up in what we call the Interior of British Columbia in Canada. I saw that on the Canadian news. His family says they haven’t seen him for 20 years. But that he was always a good boy and that they are still there to help him. They also say that they aren’t surprised since many in the family are into conspiracy theories. (!) About what she didn’t say. The “Interior” is a very conservative, low populated area away from the major Canadian cities near the border. I guess he may have American citizenship now so it doesn’t matter. Still I find it interesting, and shocking and sad obviously, that someone who grew up in Canada has been radicalized so much that they allegedly were stirred into wanting to attack our Speaker and attacking her husband.
James, Toronto, CANADA (Toronto)
The fringe craziness of the past (i.e., the John Birch Society, KKK, Weathermen, etc.) has been transformed by social media into mainstream madness impervious to facts or reasoned argument. When there were only newspapers, magazines, radio and three or four TV channels, even McCarthyism's reach was limited. Now, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, 4chan, "Truth" Social, etc. fan the flames of every conspiracy theory spouted by every disgruntled group and even state-sponsored propaganda. Until the US puts in place rules to regulate social media (e.g. as has the EU), the "Where's Nancy?" nuts, egged on by conspiracists, will run rampant.
Citizen (NYC)
Perhaps voters will come to their senses at the polls and drop the hate, revenge, lies and conspiracies and vote for for sanity, competence, good will and common sense. You never know…
Rich E. Dugan (Rockland, NY)
I’ve been listening to Donald Fagan’s The Nightfly from early ‘80’s. The opening song, “I.G.Y.” (What a Beautiful World This Will Be) - is now straight-up haunting. The usurping of hope & promise since those days is staggering.
CK Irvin (Cleveland, Ohio)
I voted already as I am 74 and disabled. For the first time in my life I voted an all Democrat ticket. There were a number of reasons for doing so: the abortion and gun decisions by the USSC (dobbs and NY Rifle); Ginni Thomas's unchecked role in our government; Clarence Thomas not being impeached; my state governor sending a 10 year old rape victim out of state for an abortion as it conflicted with his Catholic religion (and why he signed the abortion ban); numerous crazy people who now dominate the other party in government; the GOP inability to grasp danger in disease (covid) and weather (climate change); Trump or DeSantis as possible presidents; GOP culpability in the January 6 riot to subvert the government; the growth of deranged individuals on the prowl and attack, most IDing with the GOP. The first time I voted the nation was just finished with the Vietnam War and was on the cusp of Watergate. It was 1972. I was in Law School and all anybody could talk about was Watergate and the "horror" of it. Our present day situation makes Watergate seem so trifling in comparison. Fortunately, because of ill health, I mostly stay home in a large condo community in the far out suburbs. I do lots on the internet that I used to do in person. I suspect many might do the same even if not disabled. I can barely recognize my country as I finish out my life.. My absentee ballots will be uniformly filed as straight Democratic tickets from here to the end for the foregoing reasons.
Espoir (Canada)
On one hand, GOP leaders are horrified by acts of violence (McConnell). On the other hand, they refuse to condemn their colleagues who make jokes about violence (McCarthy: "When she gives it [the gavel] to me I'd like to hit her with it"). Do they not understand that words matter and have consequences? You bet they do. They're merely aping their Leader, he who deals in hatred and lies....and violence.
Opus (Cape Cod)
Dare I suggest that we create a "Simple Human Decency" index. That in times of violence, hate and lack of humanity we have gone down the rabbit hole of the base of human instincts. On any such scale we know Donald Trump would consistently score a zero but for the Younkin's of the world where a simple comment of decency would of sufficed.
Joe D (Wisconsin)
This is the ultimate outcome of a MAGA America. It's shameful and unreal how far we have fallen. We should have known that something was very wrong when Trump was elected in 2016. And it's not Trump, it's that so many people would be so disillusioned with the political system that they'd elect and continue to idolize an immoral failure if a man.
Kodali (VA)
Trump incitement is continuing and getting ugly. Republicans can't stop Trump. Democrats and independents are the only one who can stop Trumpism. which should be the highest priority followed by women's rights for voting on November 8th. All other issues are non-issues.
Norah Astorgah (USA)
Nobody says it better than Nancy Pelosi. "I can't believe anybody would vote for these people." I find it shocking that so many people in Georgia would even consider voting for a candidate who buys abortions in bulk.
David Servatius (Salt Lake City)
The best case scenario for America's future is something like Northern Ireland in the 70s, with the Reds and Blues in place of Catholics and Protestants. Worst case, and entirely plausible, is something akin to Rwanda in the 90s. The poison is in the bloodstream now and nothing can be done.
rc0282 (Davis)
I’m appalled by the comments that GOP leaders made while “trying” to condemn the attack on the Speaker’s husband. His comments should be highlighted by every major newspapers including WAPO. Otherwise things will get even worse. I’m disgusted with the conduct of GOP presidential aspirants. Shame!
Dave (Upper Midwest)
Ms. Dowd, You went light on Trump and heavy on Hilary Clinton during that election. Perhaps you, like so many of us, couldn't believe a con artist could be elected. You, like so many of us now and in the past (and in the future, as history repeats itself), failed to speak up early, loudly and clearly when there is a threat to civilized behavior. Please speak up, all of us.
CarolinaJoe (NC)
Half of America doesn’t believe anyone would vote for these lunatic crop of GOP candidates. What are these voters driven by? High gas prices? The current prices around $3.40-3.80 are not that high. The hatred to Democrats? Because they are evil? They did for middle class and poor American much, much more than conservatives. Because the conservative propaganda from Fox, RWR, right wing media, evangelical congregations, etc is that powerful. What is it?
Bruce (New York)
Trump is 100 per cent responsible for this attack as it is a direct consequence of the lie he created,promoted and spread about the 2020 election. His inability to accept defeat and the consequent damage to his ego has resulted in a tsunami of fury that has already poisoned the soul of this country and will result in more violence, more deaths and quite possibly an end to democracy.
Doctor Woo (Orange, NJ)
Society is falling apart. It is happening first in more crowded areas & will slowly creep out. There's too many people that don't know right from wrong anymore. Too many people that can't spell or add or work out problems. Too many disturbed & homeless roaming about. Too many criminals being let out of jail or not prosecuted at all. Just get in your car & drive & within seconds you will experience dumb, selfish, dangerous behavior. And here in the suburbs Police don't seem to be doing much of anything any more to stop it. This problem is much deeper though. The two party political system is dead. It does not work. If we don't change it, it will continue to destroy us. Too much corruption. And really more than anything I blame the irresponsible & dishonest media. The John Fetterman - Oz race is the perfect example of this. The media kept Fetterman's condition basically secret. I have seen interviews with Pennsylvanians who regret their early vote. So you have one person running who basically can't function & the other is a carpetbagger, charlatan, liar who has no business near The Senate. But yes movies that don't make sense, no talent people are big stars. A news media that never gets to the heart of the story & constantly tries to convince people that up is down. Problems with obvious solutions are twisted & info is fed to the masses that makes no sense. Over a long period of time people's wires short circuit. At highest levels the same mistakes are made over & over.
Adele (LA)
I am terrified by the Never-ending grim news. How did we become so ignorant? There are great opportunities in this country yet we are drowning in racial hatred, anti-semitism, violence, corruption, and intolerance. I cannot even imagine, in my darkest fears, the dreadfulness if these election deniers are elected, if Trump secures the presidential nomination, if he is re-elected.
babka1 (NY)
how can you write a sentence like this: "Now Republicans seem set to win back the House, and maybe the Senate, with a range of incompetent and hypocritical candidates." with everything in the "free world" on the line?
JN (California)
I can not believe anybody would vote for these GOP candidates and support in anyway shape or form the ugly and often violent lies they spew. It is so time to sweep them out of office. The violent attack on Paul Pelosi is beyond despicable. It is appalling that every politician has not expressed zero tolerance for this episode. I have voted and only voted Democrat.
Hank (california)
Ms. Dowd always goes for the zeitgeist. But the problem here isn’t a national mood, or even just hateful or divisive rhetoric in general. The problem is a few, very specific, fantastical, and elaborate lies, that have been cynically promulgated, and have gained wide currency: that the election was stolen, that Democratic leaders are all part of a huge pedophile ring, that covid and/or the vaccine was a nefarious hoax. For some who believe these lies, violence may come to seem like a rational reponse, and for those who are already unstable, events like this horrible attack are a predictable outcome.
Andrew G. Bjelland (Salt Lake City, Utah)
“If you think Washington is monstrous now, just wait.” If the Republicans take back the House, Kevin McCarthy, in order to ensure his elevation to Speaker of the House, will assign such nutters as Greene, Boebert, Gaetz and others of a similar ilk to highly visible and influential positions on House committees. ~Republican representatives will do everything within their power to ensure the Biden administration fails and the economic situation of many Americans will further worsen—anything to improve the chances that the 2024 GOP presidential candidate will win; ~The MAGA-GOPers will engage in debt-limit blackmail in efforts to force Democrats to “reform” Social Security and Medicare—that is, to pave the way for their privatization; they will ensure that Big Pharma will not have to negotiate the cost of drugs for Medicare and Medicaid; drug costs for American patients will remain the highest in the developed world; ~The MAGA-GOPers will also play government-shutdown roulette—with little regard for increased likelihood of a deep global recession; ~America’s aid for Ukraine will be threatened and, among our nation’s allies, America’s credibility will again be sorely weakened and its claim to democratic leadership will be further undermined; ~The 1/6 Committee’s investigation will be shut down; Donald Trump and his politically well-connected cadre of coup plotters will never be held criminally responsible for their unconstitutional and anti-democratic plot.
B.H.M. (TORONTO ON)
Surely as a generous nation American violent rugged individualism and gun culture has run its course? Hardly! Most egregious: The failure to protect democratic norms. Less powerful nations (Iran, Ukraine) are spilling their blood daily for freedoms Americans willfully destroy.
Mikebnews (Morgantown WV)
Bravo Mo. You took the thoughts right outta my head
Dot (New York)
Maureen: Of your entire article, this is what will stay with me: "But a feral mood has taken hold. If you think Washington is monstrous now, just wait." Horrific....but we need to have this front and center. Thank you for making it just that stark,
Regards, LC (Princeton)
To stop this horror, we would have to do the impossible: get Trump and his minions to come forward and tell-shout-the truth to the world: Biden was fairly, legitimately elected president. Believe it! Then Ye will apologize, the Supreme Court will reinstate Roe, Qananon will disband, Flynn will move to Moscow and…Fox will file for bankruptcy owing billions to Dominion. It’s Halloween.
David Parsons (San Francisco)
I am a constituent of Speaker Pelosi, live not too far from her, and have been astonished that an accomplished person with so much personal grace and acumen dedicates her life to save our nation under attack from Putin, Trump, and other terrorists. MAGA Republicans could be forgiven for believing a con man and inveterate liar in 2016. Since then, Russian Agent Orange: - was unmasked as an agent of Russia - ran a corrupt business for decades with two sets of books - used his office to enrich himself at the expense of taxpayers and foreign leaders - impacting foreign policy - increased the national debt by $8 trillion - sought to weaken NATO and other global allies - planned a violent coup at the US Capitol with slates of fraudulent State Electorates after intimidation of officials and lawsuits failed - violated the Espionage Act by stealing Top Secret /Sensitive Compartmented Information, lied about it, and holds more - is engaged in an active insurgency against the United States of America Any corporation or Plutocrat aiding and abetting the overthrow of the US government will suffer the consequences. There will be a time when those who are aligned with Putin and Trump - the "Two Wests" Putin referred to - is all public information. They will come out when the arrests and prosecutions are made, and that should happen sooner than later. Fear is a Potemkin Village mirage. We must remove this imported violent QAnon mania to an end.
LG (NYC)
So so much terrifying in the MAGA world. So much like Germany 1930s…but at least not true economic collapse..economy really tanks, who knows? TFG refusing to even acknowledge the hurt to the Pelosi family while taking time to mourn a rock and roller is beyond despicable, yes: deplorable.
MSJ (Germantown, MD)
The typical Republican response - sending “thoughts and prayers” to the Pelosi family, Followed by more vile and untrue rhetoric, or silence and inaction. Republicans own this problem.
USC (California)
The republicans have spent the last 10 years vilifying Nancy Pelosi in the most respectable way imaginable. This is the result. I read the from Joe Kent , the right wing white supremacist Republican candidate for Congress. We can look forward to "investigation, impeachment, and instruction" from the Republican house. And if people don't turn out to vote for senate, they deserve the Supreme Court nominees they get.
artist (earth)
People, please watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. Then you’ll understand how we got here. Get off social media. Stop supporting the companies that are getting rich by destroying the fabric of society.
Kay Johnson (Colorado)
Trump gave permission for people to get down in the ditch with him and a lot of Americans decided they liked it down there. We have Ivy League candidates and Senators with no more decency or honesty than common crooks. Our former president IS a crook. We have articulate ex-news people like Kari Lake and Lara Logan who lie with such ease you wonder what they tell themselves to live with such dishonesty. We still have the power to dump these people and we better do exactly that.
BL (Massachusetts)
Sadly, it makes one wonder would have happened if Nancy had been home.
BDG (Ct)
I lay this at Trump's feet. He nurtured this kind of violence -both physical and rhetorical- and continues to support it.
goose droppings (Ottawa)
Obviously, more security for congressional members is urgently needed. I hear there are about 400 cops in Texas who aren’t doing anything.
Mike (Rural NY)
For those claiming Schumer's comment rises to the level of incitement, let's remind them that he clarified and disavowed any violence. His comment was clearly inappropriate, yes, and he should know better. However. HOWEVER, it is a far cry from Republicans publishing campaign literature picturing rifle sight crosshairs over opposing candidates. Or, taking buses to DC to storm government buildings with Chicken-S Hawley leading the charge. Get some perspective.
Z (United States of Authoritarianism)
Within the next 5 years we are going to witness an explosion of violence unlike anything seen in America in centuries. Admittedly I have a skewed perspective; I am the descendant of holocaust survivors. Most of my extended family was lynched, shot and burned by the Nazis, and those that survived were murdered by everyday Soviet citizens in casual hate crimes. My great grandfather was killed when a stranger buried a pitchfork in his heart. My grandfather narrowly survived in a concentration camp. My uncle was dragged out of his home and shot. My dad was nearly murdered by a classmate who stabbed him in the chest. With this context in my family history, it's no wonder that my dad told me as a boy, "Son, the world is going to turn on the Jews someday. You have to protect yourself." That point is now. Metaphorically speaking, we are on the Titanic and on January 6th we struck the iceberg. The falsehood that Biden is an illegitimate president struck a fatal blow to reason and any chance of avoiding violence. It is both a blessing and a curse that my family's history has given me this view. It is a blessing in that it will prepare me for what is coming, perhaps enabling me to survive. It is a curse in that I can see it coming so clearly, and have since 2016 when I told my wife "An American holocaust is coming". All we can do as individuals is try to survive when the time comes.
From Gravesend (Huntington)
If the ugliness is on both sides, who is the Democrat like Tucker Carlson, like Marjorie Taylor Green, like Youngkin, and like all of the Republicans who feature guns in their campaign ads?
Hank (california)
It’s not just a national mood. And it’s not just divisive, hateful, or vitirolic rhetoric in general. It’ s a few specific, fantastical, and elaborate lies, that have been cynically promulgated, and have taken wide hold: that the election was stolen, that Democratic leaders are all part of a huge pedophile ring, that covid and/or the vaccines were a nefarious plot. For some who believe these lies, violence may seem like a rational reponse. Rather than simply condemning ‘hate vitiriol and violence’, responsible leaders in politics and journalism must address this issue much more directly, and refute these very specific lies with facts, and in detail, consistently, directly, and sytematically, for as long as it takes. I think there can be a reluctance to do this because the specifics are so ludicrous and distasteful, and there might be a feeling they shouldn’t be dignified with a response. But the boil can never be lanced without looking at it.
B Sharp (Cincinnati)
The past President Donald Trump, is devoid of any empathy towards another human soul. He regularly promotes violence. January 6 th attack is the perfect example of that. To him lying is not a big issue, anyone against him he publicly, verbally attacks them. The man is 76 years old , a time will come when Trump will no longer be valid. Waiting for that golden moment.
Walking Man (Glenmont NY)
And we thought the assassinations of the Kennedys and MLK were a dark moment in American history. Then it was a few deranged individuals with guns. Now there are 400 million guns and the deranged are right around every corner. The problem , as I see it, is if the Republicans regain power, what are they going to do? How are they going to curtail this? Or are we destined to be a country that tolerates violence as a mode of expression? Hiring more police or returning to a racist bail system that favors wealth will do what? If someone is willing to shove someone in front of a train, shoot up a school, punch someone they disagree with, or attack political figures, do you think how bail is set up will deter them? Or more police will convince them to get help or not to buy an assault weapon? And when Trump has already said he will pardon the January 6th folks convicted of crimes and has offered to pay legal fees for people that assault dissenters at rallies, what are Republicans going to do? Say pretty please Donald, don’t do that? They couldn’t reverse their condemning him after January 6th fast enough. And groveled to him days later.
mac (mid america)
It’s dark all right, but the finger pointing doesn’t help, ever. The blame game never resolves anything. There’s plenty of crazy going on both sides and there’s plenty of cultural chaos in play. Jesus says it best: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Laura (Cocoa Beach, Florida)
Democracy is gone. I don't believe there is anything anybody can do.
VSX (NJ)
America through its polarization has entered a very dangerous territory. It’s almost like there is an America that is educated and another where everyone is left behind: on education, decency, civility and propensity for violence. I say unabashed freedom, this is what it gets you.
Trina (Indiana)
This isn't going to end well but this is how it was always going to end. The United States has finally turned on themselves. A nation that has always stoked and justified violence for political gain and profits. A nation political class along with its citizens willfully participated in political expedience, yet blame everybody but themselves for our foolishness.
tpm (St Louis MO)
And, the GOP & so-called "Conservatives" keep saying Biden and the Dems are not trying to be bipartisan and unite the country. Over the past 22 years the GOP & Conservatives have consistently demonstrated they are willing to harm anyone who in any manner delays or thwarts their plans to ascend to power over America.
Sandra (CA)
I still have such a hard time reconciling the fact that trump supporters are In my own sphere…family, friends, neighbors, clients. Where did their dark hearts come from? Why would anyone support people as obnoxious as trump, or lake, masters, and the likes of m.t green? Do women who support these people not realize they are marginalizing us? Does everyone not realize that we are in danger of losing the best democracy this world has seen? Think about it. We are not perfect, but a whole heck of a lot better than most.
George W (Portland Or)
This is just political terrorism carried out by one side for now. We keep the pretense that “both sides” need to overcome this polarization. Nonsense. More and more of the GOP is embracing terrorist rhetoric during the election and this is the result. Even during the WS we had to sit through an incendiary propaganda ad by a front org for domestic terrorism. Time to recognize that the fight has already begun.
Peter (CA)
We helplessly watch as criminals take over this country and trample over everything that was once decent, and there is nothing we can do about it. Nothing to protect us against Trump and his criminal Republicans. I thought we had a rule of law that could easily decide when someone had crossed the line and put a stop to their shenanigans. No such protection exists in this country and that’s horrifying. Yes I’m horrified living in a lawless country , as we should all be.
Far Sighted Owl (Deep Woods of the Ozarks)
My prayers to the Pelosi family and hope for a speedy recovery for Mr. Pelosi and a return to full health. As a nation we stand on unsteady and dangerous ground. It's no overstatement to say we are tasting the bitter fruit of hate from a tree sprouted by from an evil seed. And that seed was planted by Donald J Trump. He and his minions, members of the Republican Party, and his MAGA followers fertilize social media with bile and lies that fuel everything from what we saw on 1/6, to what happed to Mr. Pelosi, to division within our families, friends, and feeds the whirlpool of disquiet we witness in our society. If anyone in this country doesn't realize by now how important the upcoming elections are to the survival of our democracy, and perhaps the even the nation itself..........then woe to us all, and the American Experiment may be truly over.
margaret koscielny (Jacksonville, fl)
If all this scary business of Republicans and psychopaths, not mutually exclusive, doesn't come to a stop, I think I just won't have any more will to live in a country gone berserk. You are quite right aout "Night on Bald Mountain"...a metaphor for Trump's comb over bare pate, leading his army of ghouls to try and destroy reason and decency. Disney's movie using the music terrified me as a child, and I still get goosebumps whenever I hear it. But it is nothing next to the outright teror I feel about the confluence of new media (social and anti-social) and dirty politics led by cynical political operatives who, with bags of cash from nefarious sources, scheme to win, even when they are losing. I'm still holding out a ray of hope from the younger generation, who might just save their elders from the folly of the past decades. May the boil of American politics burst, and we all recover some equilibrium and mental health.
djk (norfolk, va)
Youngkin, who ran as a "moderate" is continuing to show that he is really a hardliner with his inappropriate comment about Mr. Pelosi. Those of us who voted against him were not fooled last year. We knew that its was only a matter of time before his true colors would show
AnodyneTime (Litchfield County CT)
I am sharing here what I wrote to my State Senator Chris Murphy (CT D) last night. Chuck Schumer Majority Leader of the Senate called today's assault on Nancy Pelosi's spouse "dastardly". We are dealing with animals. Stop using words they cannot understand. We have done this before-- "deplorable". Please describe the attack on Mr Pelosi in the horrific terms it merits. If you need to say "beaten to a pulp with a hammer", say it. The Republicans need to know in graphic detail the extent to which their misguided and divisive politics have ripped apart our social fabric.
Davinci (NYC)
Here in New York, an election denier of the highest order Lee Zeldin, is closing ground on democrat Kathy Hochul. He is a man who loves Donald Trump unequivocally and yet he has a chance to win because crime is up in New York and the republicans aren’t blaming the criminals , no, they have found a way to blame the democrats. As far as I know Governor Hochul has never committed one crime , she has never shot anyone , pushed someone in front of a train and so forth, but Zeldin has pinned all crime on her. Zeldin talks about bail reform as the river that all crime flows out of , he doesn’t mention that the law has already been tweaked, it’s hard for the Governor to fight back against pure lies and twisted truths. Crime is up, but it is still a fraction of what it was in the 1980s and the 1970s. But this being an election year crime in a city of 8 million people is being covered in such a way when video cameras bring every single crime to life and make it seem that the craziness is everywhere at once. A city of 8 million people is never going to be crime free, I don’t care who is Governor. But what do you lose in return for supposed safety by voting for Zeldin? You get a city that’s a tinder box and more black men behind bars, women will lose the right to choose, and Donald Trump can count on the Governor of New York to find him votes or do whatever else he wants- like overturning an election. Elections have big consequences. Think before you vote.
junbesi123 (Colorado)
America was born out of violence. Genocide of people already living here and the subjugation of those with a darker skin tone. We have since had countless wars with few periods of peace since the country's founding. We have overthrown governments around the world and support ruthless dictators in foreign lands to control resources while hypocritically calling for "democracy". Well, the chickens have come home to roost. The culture of violence is now pervading our society. The people tolerated it when it affected "others". Are we surprised that it has come home?
Bri (Columbus Ohio)
My heart goes out to Mrs. Pelosi and her husband. I am glad he will fully recover. Today I heard that congress and all the beloved people in it are debating if they need more security for their own kind. The simple answer is: "No, not with taxpayer money." Pay for your own security. As brutal as I might sound, but perhaps you need to be as scared as we are. Walk in our shoes! We can't go to any public event anymore without fearing there might be a mass shooting. We are not safe in churches, movie theaters, schools, or concerts. We all have become sitting ducks! We reap what we sow! Our harvest is a violent one! We let it happen.
karisimo0 (Kearny, Nj)
It is glaringly obvious that the 1st step that what needs to happen is to take Trump down. He has obviously committed many crimes, of various types, in several jurisdictions. The US has had several periods of fascism before, but never had such a clearly defined leader of such a movement. The man has committed fraud, tax fraud, election fraud, espionage and obstruction, and been accused of rape and defamation, and that's just a sample of his misbehavior. Fascism is defined by myth and falsehoods, lack of trust, lack of sympathy, and intolerance, and all of that defines Donald Trump. All of that has been pointed out by the press and Trump's opponents. But what's surprisingly missing from the discussion on Fascism is it's need for a charismatic, strong leader. Whatever you think of Trump, that is what his fascist followers perceive him to be. That must end--soon. Removing the leader would go a long way toward ending the movement. Allowing this sociopath to continue to make a mockery of a nation of laws will make it that much harder to end the movement.
Chico (New Hampshire)
I haven't heard boo from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, does he think speaking out forcefully against this kind of violence will anger Donald Trump, it makes one wonder.
KH (Vermont)
Republicans loved to cry, "Drain the Swamp." Turns out the "drained swamp" unearthed a frightening number of faux leaders lacking courage and moral turpitude. Base salary for these zombies is $174,000 a year. Who is more asleep, these feckless senators and representatives or the people putting or keeping them in office? Disinformation has cast a pall over this country. The First Amendment shouldn't protect outright lies. Heartfelt wishes for the Pelosis.
Arturo Chavez (Los Angeles)
Trump opened up a can of slime called his Presidency that cannot be put back in the can. Each time the norm gets breached (inject bleach, January 6th, faux voter fraud, top government officials spouse being attacked) the new norm opens other scary doors to new events. I don't know who is going to win the Presidency in 2024 but I do feel that whoever follows trump is going to be worse. I just wonder when silent America is going to stand up and say "We've had enough". Sadly Germany and Japan were brought to collapse and destruction before they could be reconstructed again to more civilized societies. To your point Ms. Dowd, if folks think America is monstrous now, elect Trump and the trump minions of the country and just wait.
I Cover the Waterfront (Los Angeles)
There is a taste for violence woven through American culture. One only has to view the demented violence on display at your local movie theatre, streaming apps, games, and the Sunday service of football. Coupled with religious fanatics, free and easy access to guns of all shapes and sizes, political infantilism and comic book conspiracies, is it any wonder that what we are witnessing today?
JW (nj)
The Governor of Virginia should apologize. That was an embarrassing and despicable "joke," and the people of Virginia, the home of Washington and Jefferson, deserve a leader with dignity, which would apparently be someone else.
Hank (california)
It’s not just a vague national mood. And it’s not just divisive, hateful or vitriolic rhetoric. It’s really a few specific, fantastical and elaborate lies, that have been cynically promulgated, and have taken wide hold: that the election was stolen, that Democratic elites are all part of a giant pedophile ring, that covid and/or the vaccines were a nefarious plot. For some who now believe these lies, violence may seem like a rational response. These specific lies must be much more consistently, directly, and systematically refuted with facts, and those in leadership or positions of influence who promote them, or wink at them, must be held accountable. Responsible leaders should not shy from discussing this issue very specifically repeatedly and in detail. It’s not enough simply to condemn “ hate” or vitriol” when so many have been thoroughly hoodwinked by a specific set of lies.
Jim Brokaw (California)
Cue the parade of Republican political figures "condemning" the attack, and expressing "thoughts and prayers" for Mr. Pelosi. They stand silent and complicit while Trump and his cabal of minions spew lies. They stand silent and complicit while nightly hours of propaganda, called 'opinion and entertainment' shows by the network, pump the Cult of Trump "conservatives" full of lies and fear, deception and pleas for money. They stand silent and complicit while passing laws making guns always easier for -anyone- to buy, and carry everywhere... claiming all the while to be "strongly pro life". They stand pious and solemn while offering up empty platitudes and 'good wishes' then go right back to filling their cravings for power and control without regard for the rule of law and democracy. The hypocrisy of today's "conservative" politicans is just so disappointing and so clear.
Richard (Reisterstown, Maryland)
Donald Trump's silence regarding this horror adds to a long list of self-inflicted ethical lapses. Still waiting for words of compassion from DJT. Here is the reality: Trump teaches his followers to "own the Libs."
Jerry (San Francisco)
Encouraging violence against Democrats is beyond irresponsible and those doing so should be censored or impeached to send a clear message. Encouraging violence cuts both ways. Don’t be surprised if after the elections some MAGA republicans are targeted next. What will they have to say then? Sad.
MO19 (Atlanta, Ga)
What we could see is a swell of verbal and now physical attacks potentially reaching the point where the Republican leadership feels compelled to declare that no party in the USA except theirs is capable of subduing it. They may not have intended it but it will be inevitable. It is also textbook prescription for How to Roll Over the generally docile citizenship. The European fascists were expert at it. Their initial organization made it possible. Let us hope we recognize it early enough to put a stop to it. Jan.6 was not the first of such efforts but the most potent so far. We cannot permit another one. The difference between 35 and 50 percent support is in feverish circumstances a minor inconvenience.
M. Espo (San Pedro, CA.)
I don´t agree with Ms. Dowd´s framing of the problem. Horrific? Yes. Scary? Absolutely, but it´s not a horror movie. America is not haunted. Its political and economic systems are unraveling because they are only functional for a plutocracy. A good chunk of those left out have given in to nihilism, and this, Ms. Dowd, is what you and the rest of us are witnessing. This is how it feels when hope is lost, and when economic policies (supported by the two parties, btw) have allowed millionaires and billionaires to buy and control everything under the sun. Societies unravel when its institutions and policies fail the people. The media, healthcare, education, housing have all been taken over by market ideology, so only owners win in this scenario. So, no, Ms. Dowd. Monsters are something that are estranged from us, removed from us. What we are seeing is a system --- call it Liberal Democracy, or Western Liberalism, or even Capitalism --- that is shedding its old skin and emerging as.... well I don´t know. This is what is causing so much anxiety. The emerging order has yet to be named.
PB (Northern Utah)
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." (Isaac Asimov) Not comforting, but we need to find out why so many Americans choose to vote for incompetents, because I think the Republican Party knows this and is one reason why Republicans are increasingly placing appallingly incompetent, uncaring, irresponsible candidates in high and low government offices. Republicans have been staffing government this way since Reagan (EPA, Interior, IRS, Consumer Protection, etc.). Trump added/condoned violence as a means to the GOP ends: Strong market sector; authoritarian rule; weak government.
D Price (Wayne, NJ)
The MAGA wing of the Republican party has effectively discovered -- through the dissemination of disinformation and hate speech-- a way to threaten, intimidate and now come close to murdering its opposition, without incurring the legal consequences of ordering or carrying out the actual attacks themselves. Sasse is correct that there needs to be a ratcheting down of rhetoric. But too much damage is already done. What we really need is for the purveyors of lies, hatred and violent dog whistles to step forward in the most public fashion and admit that their previous bad politicking was just a hunch of, um, malarkey that no right-minded person should have spoken, or believed.
marc (Washington State)
Lee Atwater is smiling again. Daddy Bush helped save America in war only to light the match for its destruction as a Presidential candidate.
R R (FBG)
Donald Trump and many of his Republican cohorts have so much dirty laundry and violent baggage they aren't even aware of or don't care about that it's a waste of time even pointing it out. But, That defines today's Republicans. And yes, It's specifically you Mitch and Kevin I'm referring to.
California Scientist (Santa Barbara)
We are now entering deep uncharted waters with regard to the survival of anything that resembles a democracy. The Republican Party condones discrimination, lies and violence when the outcome is not to their liking. The USA they want is a USA I do not want to live in.
Joy Mars (Provence)
I worked for progressive politics from the early ‘90s until I retired five years ago. My cohorts and I worked to turn CA Blue. My work was to “Get Out The Vote” (GOTV), and I would take much-needed breaks at my favorite restaurants, where I’d hear the laments of the servers: “Politics! What’s the point? I don’t vote. It’s all corrupt.” I’d counter with: “What you think IS your reality; this is not the democratic spirit. Your attitude IS the corruption.” Didn’t get anywhere with that argument. As unions were destroyed, so were progressive voting blocks across the country, but not churches. They pumped their conservative flocks to the polls. And this is what we are left with. A total misunderstanding of the democratic spirit. Even when Dems win, deniers won’t accept it. This is not a new insanity. I saw the roots of it in a Blue state decades ago. Now the problem is more than politics; we need to dig our way out of the crazy.
Cyclist (San José, Calif.)
The standard narrative so far has been that the attacker is a right-wing Trump follower. We who live in the Bay Area suspect otherwise, from grim experience. The suspect's alleged rantings are an epiphenomenon of psychosis, not fealty to, e.g., Mitch McConnell or Ted Cruz. With thousands (or maybe tens of thousands) of similarly psychotic people here in the Bay Area, I'm surprised we don't have more psychosis-induced violence than we do. Michael Shellenberger brings a different and, to my mind, more accurate perspective (although I don't see anything in his essay to support his allegation about paedophilia). https://michaelshellenberger.substack.com/p/pelosi-attack-suspect-was-a-psychotic
LaPine (Pacific Northwest)
Merrick Garland, are you listening? This is as a result of your Dept.'s inaction. For evil to flourish requires good men to do nothing. I believe these nationalists/fascists are no more than losers, living in their parents basements, or financially struggling to make a living on their own. Rather than face their temporary setbacks, they look for scapegoats to blame for them. Free speech doesn't include yelling fire in a crowded theater because it could result in injuries and deaths of innocents. How then, can hate filled websites, chat sites such as those found in the home of the attacker of Mr Pelosi, be allowed to exist when they result in injury of innocents, by those who aren't discerning enough to be duped to believe such lies? Those politicians, news commentators, hate mongers, who espouse this violence should be arrested, jailed, and treated no different than one who would shout fire in a theater. It is NOT free speech. The result is the same; Mr Pelosi being evidence of that, or the young woman being run over in Charlottesville, or the failure to convict Kyle Rittenhouse is a testimony to the failures of our justice system and the sickness of our society. If we do not confront these evils head-on, we don't deserve to exist as a country.
WILLIAM (OHIO)
It is 2022. The nation is still living with what the former president calls the “stolen election of 2020.” It still haunts us as Maureen Dowd says. This is unfortunate in a democracy. First, there was the insurrection in the Capital on January 6,2021. Encouraged by Trump, a mob broke into the Capital searching for “Nancy” and broke into her office and stole many of her official documents. Fortunately, Nancy with other legislators was hiding in a bunker. Then, just yesterday, an armed 42 year old assailant named David De Pape armed with a hammer broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco and asked Paul Pelosi “Where is Nancy?” and proceeded to hit him in the head with his hammer, causing a seriously fractured skull which required extensive surgery. Paul Pelosi is fortunate to be alive. Fortunately, Nancy was in New York. What all of this amounts to is the implication of Trump as De Pape’s relatives had many tweets where Trump had been critical of Ms. Pelosi’ measures as Speaker. This gives more than sufficient reason to indict Trump and to bar him from seeking office. He has disgraced the office of the presidency, I have as of today voted early and have voted STRAIGHT DEMOCRAT.
John (Tucson, AZ)
Assassins targeting lawmakers in the 1960's brought about major gun control through Congress and reducing hate speech. The murder of President Kennedy during a time of media hate directed towards him before his landing in Dallas in November of 1963. Later the killing of Booby Kennedy, the murder of Martin Luther King, and the attempted assassination of George Wallace were all during a supercharged period of antipathy in America. The "Saturday Night Special" twenty dollar handguns were banned, as well as mail ordered weapons including rifles, pistols, and even anti tank guns. It required the murder of their own elite politicians to shame a pathetic Congress into action. Now it appears even sedition and murder on the steps of the Capital was not enough to pressure politicians and Americans to say enough is enough. It looks as American leaders require a more squalid atrocity that affects them directly to act. Random school shootings of strangers children are not enough, and it questionable if the public beating the husband with a hammer in public of the third in line of control of the Government will shame America into action.
Cy (Texas)
Nancy Pelosi has been subjected to the same type of hatred Hillary Clinton has had to deal with. Republicans continue to tap into every form of prejudice they think will get them a few more votes. Women have always been an easy target for them and it is not surprising or difficult to see the role of women-haters in their ranks.
cyrano (nyc/nc)
The Republicans will now move to have hammers declared as free speech.
Deborah (Houston)
What we have is a large number of Americans unwilling to look inward for their problems and all too happy to embrace a Donald Trump who tells them all their problems are someone else's fault. I don't think these people are xenophobic because they are unsuccessful. I think they are unsuccessful because they are xenophobic. If you are the type to be gleeful over the Pelosi attack, that is the crux of your problem.
Fellow Citizen (America)
It turns out that many Americans are not so exceptional after all. The Times recently ran a brilliant analysis that showed that the congressional districts of the 147 Republican election deniers, compared to Republican non-deniers and Democrats, have the lowest median incomes, lowest levels of education and worst health status, measured by deaths of despair and higher mortality rates that are getting worse at six times the rates of the other districts. The denying districts are approaching white minority status faster than the other districts. They are largely not participating in the knowledge based economy and are left with dwindling extraction industries and mass factory feeding station “farming”. Social institutions are dissolving. These districts are failing in every measurable dimension. Combine that with a chauvinistic patriotism which is really an expression of their presumption of white entitlement and you get aggrievement, despair, shame and rage. Sociologist Arlie Hochschild recently explained in a Times book review how this toxic stew has quickly morphed from vulnerability to defiant espousal of the Big Lie to a “steal it back” contempt for America’s signature achievement - election integrity and peaceful transfer of power. These are the same ingredients that led to the rise of fascism in pre-WWII Germany. Meanwhile, immigrants, mostly of color, overcome more daunting hardships and build thriving communities in America. Women and the young must vote and save us.
Floyd (New Mexico)
Does Virginia have recall ? I hate to borrow the trope - but my thoughts and prayers are with the Pelosis today.
ASHRAF CHOWDHURY (NEW YORK,)
If the husband of the speaker Nancy Pelosi is not safe, nobody is safe in violent America. Crime , political or anything else is out of control . America is no more a country of law and order. What has happened to our law enforcement agencies? I hope we do not live in Banana Republic.
Deirdre (New Jersey)
Nancy’s sin is the same as Hillary’s sin- trying to bring universal healthcare or as close as we can get to everyone. For that they are both vilified with a side of misogyny. We should be hating red state legislatures and governors that didn’t expand Medicaid and provide pop-up prescription clinics as 3rd world healthcare to bandaid their deplorable and abusive leadership
PE (Seattle)
Trump had the bully pulpit of the presidency and stirred up the masses with paranoia and rage. When someone has that type of power - presidential power - over a culture, he or she becomes directly responsible for the violence spawned because violent messages seeded through abuse of that power. Trump seeded violent messages against Pelosi. Trump didn't commit the Pelosi crime, but he egged it on, and should be held accountable.
Phil (NJ)
You read the article and read the comments and notice that nothing and no one seems positive about America today! Our dystopia is not in the future, but here and now! The civil war we keep hearing about will not be fought between states, but between citizens in every state. While a few individuals of one party - an authoritarian leader and his emasculated leadership is sowing the seeds of dissent to divide and rule shamelessly, the other party seem neutered by its internecine battles. There is a reason why people are angry. Not only the wealthy have cornered more of the wealth, we have let the middle class shrink and into anxiety leaving the vast majority drugged, ignorant and vulnerable to any lie that can stir their fury. No wonder debates have deteriorated into death threats. We NEED two STRONG and ETHICAL parties to ensure there is a flourishing just democracy for the people. Today one is clearly strong and unethical while the other is relatively more ethical but weak. We the voters are the only people who can change this. And all we need is our vote. This election vote the unethical party out down the line to cause them some introspection and improvement. Continue this until we see they change for the better and only then vote them back into power if deserving.
Curious (Marfa, Texas)
Unstable folks, plus an unregulated internet, plus the poisonous language of our former President, is a very bad cocktail that the country needs to recover from. And not too soon. Vote.
infinityON (NJ)
I constantly hear about the division in this country, people should view that as a good thing at this point. It's healthy when people are pushing back on others that say they won the election and not even close to living in reality, or willing to resort to violence. What's the alternative? To get completely steamrolled by violent maniacs that want to bring down Democracy? There are certain issues where there is no meeting in middle with the other side. The media and even some politicians will "both sides" us right into an American fascism. No Kumbaya moment is coming anytime soon in this country. Whether it's Jan 6 or this incident, the Republicans and Trump help light the fire and then say don't look at us. They are a bunch of opportunistic cowards and lowlifes trying to install some authoritarian vision for our country. Big mouths but never willing to put any personal skin in the game.
B Sharp (Cincinnati)
What kind of Country are we living in I wonder . Donald Trump, an election denier, has no empathetic bone in his body. An old man who promotes violence, and never has any regrets. Wish I could move to a third world Country where people have more compassion, at this moment they are looking down at us.
gwr (queens)
Yesterday was the one hundredth anniversary of Mussolini's "March on Rome", when he took power and ruled for the next 22 years.
TalkToThePaw (Nashville, TN)
Well written Maureen. I agree with Nancy "I cannot believe anybody would vote for these people". I've read a few scary books recently about the domestic terrorists and Republican politicians and their tactics and wonder where this will all end. Not including the crazy Trump base, I can only imagine that people who vote for the Republican scoundrels are too busy with their lives to bother paying attention. We will all be sorry.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
Fundraising is the part of US politics than annoys me more than anything else. Reason cannot be bought with lucre.
Maridee (USA)
What happened to Mr. Pelosi is a tragedy. We could say we're victims of a cruel trick called social media. The airwaves and internet are leaching poison and weak minds are brainwashed. We might first look at the lack of regulation of media outlets that don't report the truth and aren't held to account; media that rile up the "base" with conspiracy theories; politicians whose political ads spew fantasy stories against the "other" and other outlets that are wreaking havoc on society at large. It is up to the majority of us cooler heads to drive off the bad spirits that lurk all around us. Vote, get involved, lobby those weaker of mind to stay off alt-right internet dark spots, quit Twitter, 4Chan, or Non-Truth Social, just to mention just a few suggestions.
Lady Liberty I (New York)
That hideous comment by Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia really says it all. Using an attempted murder to try to score political points is not only inhumane and disgraceful, but cold and calculating. Youngkin enthusiastically indulges in the Republican culture wars directed toward women, the LGBT community and anyone who isn’t a white heterosexual Christian. He has refused to distance himself from conspiracy theorists in the GOP, and has allied himself closely with Amanda Chase, a Virginia state senator who was censured by both Republicans and Democrats in the state senate for praising Jan 6th insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol as "patriots.” He is one of the many far-right Republicans complicit in cultivating the hate-fuelled, violent political atmosphere that led to the attempted murder of Paul Pelosi, and the attacker’s plan directed toward the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
Reginald Hausner (New York)
Gabby Giffords, the plot to kidnap the Governor of Michigan, January 6, now this. Trump went out of his way to not bother reciting one of the several platitudes of faux regret uttered by several of his lieutenants. The perversion of Twitter is underway, to be followed in a few days by capture of of the House and perhaps the Senate. They already have the SCOTUS and a whole bunch of state governments. Biden may soon be standing alone for a couple of years, then what? America looks to be past the tipping point - we know too many formerly levelheaded friends who have inexplicably joined in, take the bait.
Bob (Ontario)
The deranged people, like David De Pape, are being encouraged by Trump to be a domestic terrorist and attacked Trump's perceived enemies; it's what Trump did on January the sixth, 2021. Trump's and his Republican minions' constant lies and non-stop hate speeches fuel the destruction of America's democracy.
Dan-O (CA)
Since 2015 it seems like more deplorables are proudly coming out of the closet. Not only that but they're more emboldened to cause serious mayhem. As well as enjoy the deplorable label. That is until caught and have to pay for their crime. These fine people claim that they are for law and order, fine I say, throw the book at them. Let them taste the sentences normally handed down to people who are minorities, or of color.
Tom (Hudson Valley)
As much as we might not want it to be, this attack against Mr. Pelosi is actually an opportunity for Democrats to win some votes in the midterms. It’s not getting much press, but Kari Lake, for example, has publicly stated that immigrants are “rapists.” Democrats need to tie this kind of hateful rhetoric to violence. There is other hateful rhetoric Republican candidates have put out there recently… Democrats need to call them out on it.
JamezeeBoy (Minnesota)
The specifics of the perpetrator’s motives and actions as well as details of the entire incident will be fleshed out during the police investigation and the prosecution of the case. Those are relevant and important. But fair reporting of what is factual and known so far points clearly to the sad outgrowth of exposure to toxic misinformation sources, regardless of whether or not the perpetrator is of keen intelligence, limited mental capacity, or something in between. Accordingly I am not moved at all by the many commenters shouting “but, but, but, . . .” and/or calling for the equivalent of the meaningless thoughts and prayers. This country’s stability is teetering on a precipice. If you are or know an “old-fashioned Main Street Republican” but you or he / she hasn’t had the courage and honesty to call out the anti-democratic cancers that are rapidly metastasizing through the Republican Party at the national, state, and local levels, then know that responsibility for the impending downfall of the nation will be laid at your doorsteps by historians of the future. Maybe you don’t care but your inaction and unwillingness to do the right thing now will be responsible for a bleak future that harms the lives and livelihoods of your descendants for decades to come.
H. Clark (Long Island)
I’m horribly disappointed in the (former) United States of America. This is not what we signed up for. It’s the opposite of Norman Rockwell.
Susan (Raleigh NC)
Time to hunker down and become completely self sufficient. No movies, no concerts, only on-line shopping. So glad I’m an old lady who has lived a wonderful life free of discourse and violence up to this point. Our poor grandchildren, so many threats and dangers in their way. I really fear for what kind of life they will have.
Tom (Hudson Valley)
Did we see this level of violence, or threats of violence, before Trump was elected? Trump brought this level of hate out in his party… and it’s not going away. It’s up to Democrats to talk about this violence, and condemn it. They should also not let Republican colleagues off the hook who have dismissed this violent act against Mr. Pelosi. Or other threats of violence that are getting media attention. As usual, there is too much silence and complacency from our congressional Democrats. A reminder we have nearly 300 Democrats in Congress… every single one of them should be speaking out and enlightening Americans.
dutchiris (Berkeley, CA)
The most chilling images I have seen recently are those of people wearing military outfits, armed, and "guarding" voter drop boxes. They are unidentified, unregulated "volunteers" with one intention: to intimidate voters. How have we come to this corruption and distortion of the voting process in America? It's fallout from the ongoing lie that the 2020 election was rigged. The 2020 election was not rigged. Trump lost the vote and did not win the presidency. The people spoke and they said no. The Republicans continue to foster the lie that Trump won and by illegal means, and now we have these vigilantes menacing the process of our right to vote.
Dolly Patterson (Silicon Valley)
Nancy Pelosi just released a letter to House Members saying... "“Yesterday morning, a violent man broke into our family home, demanded to confront me and brutally attacked my husband Paul,” Pelosi wrote. “Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our Pop.”
Jean (Connecticut)
Yep, it's bad. As a consequence, I'm moving to France.
M Harvey (FL)
And so it goes. So it goes. The nation we loved and paid loyalty to, slip slipping away. And so it goes, so it goes. Bye Bye!
Jonsey75 (Mid West)
A simple choice that most of us have already made. Vote for the party that helps those in need instead of helping themselves to whatever they can get away with. Vote for the party where faith means exactly that. Vote for the party that speaks truth to power not power over truth. Vote for the party that is committed to a diverse democracy not a republic of lies and cheating. Fox News makes millions of dollars degrading our society and spreading hate under the protection of free speech. It’s not really free though is it.
Leon (Atlanta)
Silence by Trump says it all. The top of the GOP flaunts criminal behavior and praises groups that preach hate and violence. Similarly too many politicians on the left refuse to speak out about inner city violence, blaming social ills and not the perpetrators. Repeat offenders get coddled and allowed to commit worse crimes after being set free. There are too many causes for the violence we are seeing that are hard to correct. The media and the internet make violence so mundane for teens that their sense of morality is distorted and they easily go down a violent path when they have access to a gun. One way to get the violent speech under control is to restore the fairness doctrine and limit any form of music or internet content that espouses violence. Another is to charge politicians who associate and encourage seditionists and insurrectionists by their speech. First Amendment has limits if it results in a loss of life.
Davinci (NYC)
It’s very interesting that you mentioned Halloween. As America seems to get crazier and crazier, as more guns proliferate, and thanks to video games every nine year has the military aptitude of the best marine sniper. I have always wondered what would happen if all the crazies attacked on the same day? What if they mirrored the movie The Purge or the movie Death Race 3000, where you gained points with the more people you killed. This is the natural progression of where we are headed. The perfect day to this is a holiday of some sort. We have already had a school massacre on Valentine’s Day, but wouldn’t the perfect day be Halloween- the day of horror, when you can walk around in weird costumes. We are slowly inexorably headed in this direction . The killers will be teenagers and young men, the police will be overwhelmed and under attack as well, it will be every man for himself. If desensitizing violence is the problem what’s the solution, how do we stop the “ purge day” ?I offer two solutions, get kids out of their homes and private worlds, every child should be involved in sports or some community activity . And when teenagers reach the age of 18 they should have to perform a year of national service . Like they do in just bout every country on the globe. The man who attacked Pelosi, the teens who are shooting to their schools or threatening to shoot up their schools are clear evidence of what is to come. Ignore this problem at your own cost.
Rob E Gee (Mount Vernon NY)
And where is the media’s culpability? Both sides-ism indeed.
AlNewman (Connecticut)
The Democratic Party is practicing an anachronistic form of politics—enacting legislation that helps people and then expecting the media to inform them of it. Instead they need to build an operation that rivals the 2,000 or so right-wing influencers, podcasters and event planners who occupy the deepest recesses of the internet. Their propaganda and disinformation—their bile—is picked by right-wing media, like the Washington Times, and then gets amplified by GOP politicians. The American people have been co-opted by right-wing disinformation that demonizes Democrats and obliterates objective truth. This urgency is all the more reason why Pelosi, Schumer and Biden need to pass the torch to younger politicians in the party—Newsom, Ryan, Whitmer, Buttigieg and Demings—who understand the power of social media and the need to face down this pernicious threat.
NY (NY)
Let's have the courage to change what we can: Forgo the latte or espresso trip , dinner out etc and donate immediately meaning today to all our democratic candidates.
Curious (Marfa, Texas)
“I can’t believe that anybody would vote for these people.” This sums it up. It’s true. And I agree. There’s 101 reasons for it. But right up there is the utter failure, over many decades, to provide quality education in our public schools. Breaking news- fix this, and our society will have, one would hope, a more thoughtful and rational citizenry. And less nutters.
KMW (New York City)
The attack on Paul Pelosi was horrendous and I’m glad that he is going to be all right. All attacks whether they occur on the left or right are inexcusable and should not take place. We are becoming a very violent society and this has to stop. All of these criminals need to get stiff prison sentences to teach them that we will not tolerate this any longer. The problem is many of them are just given a slap on the wrist and are out within no time to attack again. This should never occur.
Acme Joe”” (Connecticut)
Yesterday I spent some time reading the Texas GOP State Convention Platform for 2022. It was a sort-of random internet searching action and was somewhat related to having recently finished Lawrence Wright's excellent 2018 love-letter to his home state: "God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State". Published in 2018 the book was pre-Dobbs, pre-Uvalde and pre-Jan 6. Beautifully written, it nevertheless left me with a feeling of existential dread as I combined its "as goes Texas, so goes the nation" observations along with its sad tale of GOP moderate Joe Straus retiring as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Had the Greg Abbott / Dan Patrick / MAGA crowd REALLY taken the state to such a dark place? It's all there in the platform. America IS indeed becoming a "spook house".
dbl06 (Blanchard, OK)
Stop the prognostication that Republicans will take the House in November and concentrate on what will happen if they do. McCarthy has already assured the world that Republicans will shut down the government until Biden's legislation is repealed. Then he promised a marathon of impeachments of various Biden officials including Biden himself. And, Benghazi-style investigations into Hunter Biden's involvement with China and his Laptop, for god's sake. That will definitely reverse inflation and bring down the price of gas to below $2.00/gal.
Galfrido (PA)
Republicans and the right wing media are playing with fire and are ready to sacrifice our democracy and freedom for what? What does it all add up to?
Cate (New Mexico)
Mr. Pelosi's several wounds certainly will heal from this insane attack--however, I doubt if he will ever be able to recover from them. Based on the enormous numbers of violent, hate-engendered activities going on this country--whether it is the more than 250 "mass shootings" this year so far, or the daily vicious, hateful, paranoid and delusional messages found so readily on social media; or the all-too-frequent threats against everyone from public representatives in office all the way to armed "watchers" of voters casting their ballots in neighborhood precincts--I would say without hesitation that America is teetering on the brink of a national-level psychosis taking hold of our country. It's apparent now: America has become sick, there's no denying it any longer. For that reason, our government needs to stringently regulate violent content found in so much of our media--it is literally making us ill. This is not a freedom of speech issue either--it's a health crisis issue. One should not continue offering the very substances responsible for causing serious illness and death. We need to break from the sad and emotionally corrupting violence-based material that has taken over our national viewing--yes, it needs regulating at this point until we can begin to see some recovery. Our government should immediately offer alternatives by offering grants for production of alternative media offerings--create stories and ideas with more positive emotional outcomes.
Lorrie (Anderson, CA)
What concerns me is Michael Beschloss' comment that, "if Trump wins the 2024 election, it will be the end of Democracy. The forces that would bring fascism to America have grown exponentially, the acts of violence increasing, the fervency of lies and misinformation reaching an all time high, not only among the populace, but encouraged, engaged in and incited by Republicans at every level of leadership. The Republican Party will either achieve dominance or begin to self destruct at this turning point in our history. As Maureen Dowd pointed out, "If you think Washington is monstrous now, just wait." Let's hope her foreboding does not come to pass because we are undeniably on the brink of losing the soul of America.
Queenie (Henderson, NV)
The judge who ruled that armed men in combat gear hanging around drop boxes in Arizona did not pose a threat to voters is part of the problem. We are so afraid to appear to trample on anyone’s right to want, enjoy and threaten violence, we have made ourselves sitting ducks.
Karen Norris (Fort Worth, Texas)
It takes very little rationalization for people with a propensity for violence to act on that impulse with the tiniest bit of imagined justification. Recall the incitement and glorification of violence at Trump rallies and his disregard for the danger posed to Congress by armed insurrectionists on January 6th. Now more than ever, we need moral courage from the DOJ.
Michael Gilbert (Charleston SC)
This is where we are because this has been the Republican plan for the last 40 years. Trump and Fox just gave them permission to say it out loud, like DeSantis and Youngkin et al, and by extension encourages violence every single day. There is no decency, no morality, and no ethics within Republican ranks any longer, and it's getting worse. Having Trump and his coup plotting minions running around free, spouting lies and encouraging actions like the Pelosi attack just makes matters worse. It is long past time to hold them all - including right wing media - to account.
RjW (Chicago)
The writing is dripping down the wall. If this vertigo we’re feeling isn’t a forewarning, I don’t know what is. The spirit of these comments is admirable. Stay strong.
GL (North NY)
Our country is going through a serious bout of cynicism, brought on by the pardoning of Richard Nixon and his cronies by Gerald Ford. This was followed by the Reagan team that gave us Ollie North and John Poindexter’s arms for hostage/contra fiasco; Papa Bush was no slouch either. From here we were showered with the savings and loan fiasco. Son Neil was conveniently involved with one of these institutions. We managed a sojourn with Bill Clinton, where, surprise, we had a balanced budget, not since. Do we have to go through Bush Jr.’s horrendous calamities, both inflicted and afflicted? The sheer cost to our national treasure will never be resolved. The worst RND imaginable, cost us more than a drunken teenager. Oh, wait. When they couldn’t control the damage they could inflict from the White House, they resorted to their power in the senate to further corrupt and taint the offices and administrative functions under accepted rules, all while having sworn to make sure Obama would be a “one term president.” Cynicism has taken root in the collective consciousness, deservedly so. How can any of us have any faith that the party polled to take over will deliver anything other than the past?
Mike Carpenter (Tucson, AZ)
You can be sure that the Alex Jones's of the world will deny this. MAGA hats will believe any lie about Democrats. BTW, it's oil companies and huge corporations driving inflation along with shortages arising from Covid. None of which is Democrats doing. The D's (and the country) could have used FAR BETTER campaigns. Where did my contributions go?
Carol (Toronto)
I can no longer read about US politics. It scares me. The possibility of an undemocratic super-power bordering my country frightens me as much as Russia must frighten Ukrainians. People like Trump and many other Republicans who advocate violence are not benevolent human beings. Their only gods are money and power.
D. Ellis (Los Angeles, CA)
This is what the new civil war looks like. Deranged conspiracy theorists and religiously fueled lunatics and small groups targeting the people and institutions they’ve been trained to hate. There is no foreseeable end to this, no rational discourse or call to restore the common good. Too late for that. I can’t see anything in our future but but more tragedy and eventual dissolution of this country into tribal sectors.
Miriam (NY)
The American Horror Show that is on a non-stop loop will continue to play and ravage the country unless Americans wake up and stand up and do what common sense dictates we all do. Rebuke hatred and violence and vote in people who will restore a healthy middle class and a moral decency to our country, free from corporate influence and metastatic greed.
Nitin (West Coast)
Violence where party leaders (like Youngkin) align with it as a joke and no sympathy really for an 82 year old with a skull fracture is fraught with risk. All that is needed is kindling for the now multiple sparks. Nancy could come out and lay the blame squarely at the "other party" and ask for supporters to rise. it would be the beginning of the end of this era of the United States or maybe it already began on Jan 6th. At this point it does not seem that there is a going back and restoring order. The only question is whether the leadership rises and we emerge peacefully into a new world or through a violent path that allows Russia, China, and others to provide their world order to the world.
audifans (seattle)
interesting that no mention of assassination attempt of kavanaugh or the shooting of scalese and 4 others in a ball park a few years ago. Not exactly driven by Trump now were they? Or they egging on by Waters and Pelosi to get in Republican's faces wherever they are in public. The attack on Pelosi is monstrous but it's certainly not one sided rhetoric that goads some to act out. Both sides seem to want to quash the other one and stir their minions to do their bidding.
Paul (Phoenix, AZ)
The role of the mainstream media in creating a platform that amplified and boosted this violence must also be addressed. As Jennifer Rubin of the WaPo said back in 2018: "The media’s predilection for false balance and a weird awe of President Trump’s defiance of all moral and constitutional strengths (He defies conventional politics! He breaks all the rules!) leads to the “nothing matters” and “his base is still with him!” sort of coverage that seems to concede, even after the 2018 midterms, that Trump is politically successful." It is the mainstream media that normalized Trump and deadened our sense of outrage by making his tweets the news of the day. It is the mainstream media that created the false equivalencies of Sarah Sanders chased from the Red Hen restaurant with armed domestic terrorists plotting to kidnap and murder the Michigan governor. It is the mainstream media that attacked academia because it would not grant access for the performative provocations of Ann Coulter on their campuses. And it is the mainstream media that claims Democrats "boosting" MAGA candidates is a "new low for the party" similar in its threat to democracy as the January 6th armed insurrection. That mainstream media has A LOT to answer for in terms of where we are today.
November Fox (Setauket, NY)
What, oh what, is becoming of our great nation? When I read about intimidation at the polls, election day nonpartisan volunteers being threatened, an old man being assaulted in the middle of the night for political reasons, I fear for our future. I am saddened beyond words.
Mr basilico (St ralph)
Politicians have been raising funds by demonizing Nancy Pelosi for years. To be effective in pulling in cash, they really have to push that negative message. Inevitably, hatred bleeds out of that greed and into the real world. If politicians and radio talk hosts won't be responsible with their messaging, then they need to be held to account when it results in attacks.
Gary (New Mexico)
Whenever violence tainted with right-wing hatred occurs, Republicans rush to dismiss the perpetrator as “mentally ill,” a move that’s supposed to decouple his actions from the plethora of hate-filled speech that spews daily from hundreds of outlets. That Majorie Taylor Greene, for instance, once called for the execution of Nancy Pelosi is entirely unconnected to shouts of “Where’s Nancy?” ringing through the halls of Congress or her home in San Francisco. But the delusions of the mentally ill find their source in society. No one in eighteenth-century Europe thought himself Napoleon. Delusions, and the violent resolutions some reach for, arise out the the milieu in which we live. Violent, hateful, unbounded language provides the ground and content for the beliefs and actions of a person like the guy who attacked Paul Pelosi. There’s a fine irony in R attitudes toward speech. On the one hand, they demand “no censorship”; everything must be permitted to be said. On the other, they treat speech as meaningless and utterly ineffectual: it can’t induce a would-be killer to act. And yet—they react with outrage at their opponents’ speech and expect their own to drive voters to the polls, for them. It’s all transactional and situational. Neither principles nor thinking lie behind these views; only whatever, at the moment, serves their insatiable greed for power and detestation of all who disagree.
DPQuinn (New Jersey)
Now that we have reached the lower depths of unleashed mania and retribution with murderous intent, what do WE do now ?
Max Collodi (New Jersey)
I’m waiting for a Republican statesman to step-up and call-out Trump and the other politicians who tacitly approve of violence and murder. Yes, I said it. It might be too late because institutions such as the military and police are infected. Note that when a Republican does criticize there is always a but.
dibattiv (Pittsburgh)
Certainly, this incident is horrific, but is it any different than the attack on Congressman Scalise of several years ago?
Cert (Central California)
My meditation on this subject, as I am in California, and I am a Californian, is that Donald J. Trump was not the cause of the many malicious uprisings to date in our country, nor was he the cause of the increase in violence, gun et all. But all of this malevolence is in our roots, as a nation. And those roots are now being to push up from being underground. If I had known or had an inkling of what these past six years would be in the US, I would have taken my money and left the country more than a decade ago. People are emboldened to do anything they want now: steal massive amounts of goods from local retailers walk-in and walk-out, hold up men in restaurants with a gun, shoot strangers and kill them, trespass and break or take tools and vandalize property. I can't stand it. In the past year, I've been attacked, my car has been broken into, my car has had plant matter planted into its engine, and my wheels have been vandalized. I'm exhausted of it all. The police/sheriff do NOT care. If we had a law enforcement that served people and not their paychecks, maybe we might have a civil society. But to that, we must bear down on children ages 8 through 18 on the meaning of civility, morality, right and wrong, laws, responsibilities, and the ultimate, spirituality.
Rocco Schwartz (Los Angeles)
There are Policing and Societal issues when it comes to street crime. Should there be more Police, should Homeless be allowed to encamp on City Streets, how quickly should criminals be released from custody and jail? To equate that with an ex, Twice impeached President facing multiple criminal indictments telling a willing Cult of Conspiracy theorists now numbering over 70 Milllion citizens that an election was rigged and his Political opponents are fair game for assault is, once again, a shining example of False Equivalency.
Dre (Anywhere, USA)
Why all the emotion, emotions warp our temporal perceptions? This gratuitous violence is happening everyday across America, not much new here except yesterday it unfortunately happened to the husband of the Speaker of the House. Americans, on both sides of the aisle, need to work together in order to save our democracy…And especially from the inside out. Surely, we can negotiate intelligently, amongst ourselves, all Americans, in order to find the appropriate solutions for our beloved country. DT, KMcC, MTG, LB, TG are just not useful messengers to anyone. These divisive people are simply destroying the country with their alarmist rhetoric and they’re only thinking of themselves, pure Narcissists! Wake up people and let’s get to work…Together as a country with differences, but one common goal. The sun always shines above the clouds, I know that for a fact.
John (Denver)
Democrats have run all three branches of government, the intelligence agencies, the economy, the media, the social networks, and Hollywood with such appalling incompetence that the Red Tsunami coming in less than two weeks is answered prayers from more than half the citizenry hoping to wash it all away and to reset our lives onto a better path.
DJK (South)
Should the Republicans gain control of the House or Senate after what we've seen them capable of doing the last 2 years, this country will be in a very bad place. They threaten to impeach everyone who's been involved in trying to keep the rule of law and our democracy intact. Just wait is an understatement.
KfDNY (Florida)
All this rightful outrage expressed over this most recent example of our decline. If all this energy could also be put into action: working with local groups to get out the vote, working phone banks, driving voters to the polls, using social media to encourage participation by voting, etc. I believe that We must make this election personal, like our lives depended on it......because as stated in many ways in these responses, it does! Get involved and let's change the course of our history for the better!
vishmael (madison, wi)
And all these latest headlines and op-eds gloss over the observation highlighted only six weeks ago that AG Garland and DOJ do indeed now appear to intend to stall any serious indictment of Trump & Gang until following NOV 22 mid-term elections,when, w GOP in control, all such efforts will be derailed into political oblivion as Trump wins again.
Mike (Republic Of Texas)
Aside from politics, could there be any other possible reason for DePape's act? In the span of human history, is there more than one reason to invade a home and attack someone?
Jim K (Upstate NY)
Rupert Murdoch was granted US citizenship in 1986. He has acted as a wrecking ball to fair and balanced American journalism. Fox News is a marketplace that peddles fear and hate. And sales have been skyrocketing in the past few years. In my opinion, Rupert Murdoch should never have been granted US citizenship; his toxic and corrosive crusade to foment hate and divisiveness merits deportation.
JT - John Tucker (Ridgway, CO)
Trump is the leader of the GOP. His failure to immediately condemn the attack and support the Pelosi's is tacit approval of the attack. His failure to act directly promotes violence as a political tool. Those who vote Republican are complicit. I understand Trump did express condolences to the family of Jerry Lee Lewis.
Alan (Columbus OH)
When a group accepts violence as a tool of persuasion, it has ceased to be a political party and have become a form of organized crime. When presidents used to say "we won't negotiate with terrorists" they did so for a very good reason. It is especially important to stick to that policy when the terrorists live among us.
Mike T (Ann Arbor, MI)
I've seen too many Halloween-like Republican attack ads that pair the Democratic candidate with Nancy Pelosi. Ominous horror film music plays in the background and the narrator warns of the apocalypse. Republican advertising works.
the shadow (USA)
The atmosphere today has been created by one Trump the Terrible. The justice system has to put on some speed to get things right again.
Carmen (Somewhere)
Watched a debate last night between congressional candidates. After an insipid denunciation of the assault on Paul Pelosi, the Republican went on to use Nancy Pelosi's name dozens of times as a bludgeon against his Dem opponent. I guess he couldn't see the connection between the assault and his party's repeated demonization of Pelosi. Or maybe he understood all too well. They've created a monster. A fickle one. No one is safe now. Just ask Mike Pence.
Gary (FL)
Both sides? Spare me. The closing election ads are a very simple indicator of which party believes violent rhetoric is acceptable. It's right there for everyone to see almost every minute of every day on a TV near you.
Former expat in Moscow (Moscow, Iowa)
Horrors indeed abound, Maureen, but I think we need to step back and realize that this isn't just any random horror movie in which completely innocent people are randomly hunted down by monsters. Street crime and violence aside, we have to ask ourselves why our politicians are so hated. Why do citizens want to do them harm or wish them ill will? Could it be that people like Nancy Pelosi have gained immense wealth while trading off the inside secrets of the people's government? The Pelosis have been an insider trading dream team. Nancy feeds her husband the secrets, Paul cashes in. They should be held accountable, but they're not. They should be investigated and probably sent to jail, but they aren't. Of course that's no excuse for vigilante justice, but people are hurting so badly. And we just keep getting swindled, over and over.
David Appell (Keizer, OR)
I no longer want to live in a country that includes red America and their values. 1/3 of a billion people is too many anyway for a country. It is time for America to be broken up into a few different countries so we can all live the lives we want.
Susanna (United States)
What will be the end result of the extreme partisanship? BOTH sides are to blame for the endless disharmony and vitriol. And who in this country of rational mind is not sick and tired of it ?!
Heart In The Deep (D-FW)
Crazy times when there’s so much tension in all things U.S. and so much proof appearing before our eyes that not only is the American system really flawed, but one side is now pulling down the scaffolding that has always held everything together but was never really designed to do so permanently. I guess destruction of civil order is delightful when you only care about yourself.
Edward Gibbons (Ventura, CA)
You have wonderful opportunity and platform to express your distain, and also to educate all us, as to why we, Americans, are in such a violent and cruel period. The answer to this is very simple; it is because we have never reckoned with our violent, cruel and rapacious history of white supremecy. We have swept our history under the rug, and our story of violence, cruelty and greed continues to raise its ugly head every day of our lives. It is the root cause of the violent attack on Speaker Pelosi's husband. I encourage you to re-educate yourself and really read Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown, and The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones. These two books are not the white narratives we grew up with, and they explain why our country is the way it is now, and why we will never be a great nation without that fundamental reckoning of who we actually are and what we have done.
LRP (Plantation, FL)
Flashback to 2016: Me: If Trump wins, we have a dictatorship; if anyone else does, we have a civil war. A co-worker: Get real, nobody's going to want to die for that guy. Today: Maybe they don't want to die for him and maybe they do--in Christopher Buckley's MAKE RUSSIA GREAT AGAIN, it's said that some of Trump's supporters publicly said they'd be willing to be the person who'd stand on Fifth Avenue and be shot by Trump to prove his contention that such an action wouldn't cost him any votes (and one wonders: satire or reporting?)--but they have certainly shown that they'll KILL for him. Which is, I suppose, more to the point. It's said we get the government we deserve, but THIS...?
ThatGuyFromEarth (Suffolk county N.Y.)
There is really only one side acting out the violence they advocate for, which is a feature, not a “bug” of their core agenda. Conspiracy and revenge fantasies have now become the key motivators used as campaign fodder fed to a fearful and angry base, riled up with lies and deceptions by republicans politicians everywhere. It’s no longer a question of “if” someone is going to lose their life directly because of this, but when. The republicans already have the blood of Capitol Police officers on their hands as well as one of their own deluded supporters from 1/6… Their lack of action and resistance to curtail their own members despicable rhetoric is nothing less than advocating and normalizing violence as a political tool… the transition to greater acts of violence is just a small price for others to pay for their individual, personal career advancements or to remain in power. The lure of the grift is too strong discourage such actions and to embrace them is far more enticing and rewarding when you have no conscience or spine.
Sofedup (San Francisco, CA)
Trump has validated violence and turned it into a badge of honor. There are those who cannot accept a powerful, intelligent woman who gets things done. I’m proud that Madam Pelosi is my representative. Thank you Nancy for your dedication and work for the betterment of our country. I’ve often wondered how an entire country I.e. 1930s Germany could be taken over by that mustachioed guy and his acolytes but I know see it happening in our country. I fear Jan 6th was a mere precursor of a horror yet to come.
George E (California)
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m beginning to believe it’s time to remove First Amendment protection for hate speech. Thanks to the power of the Internet and social media, we have allowed a rotten environment of malicious, outright lies to fester and grow out of control. As a result, civility, decorum and respect for the views and feelings for others now seems dead. An ancient, quaint relic of the past. A sign of weakness of character. It’s time to recognize that allowing those who are hate filled and angry, to spew a constant stream of disgusting and inflammatory rhetoric about practically everything, has a price. And it comes in the form of destroying our culture and societal norms, as well as empowering those who are drug addicted, mentally impaired, and/or just disgusting losers to believe they have to act. As much as anything can, this attack on Paul Pelosi should serve as a warning to all of us that this constant stream of poisonous social media bile is creating a growing army of Manchurian candidates. And after decades of programming, they everywhere among us, waiting to carry out some twisted, delusional mission.
JCAZ (Arizona)
The hateful rhetoric was always here but just embers until 2015. Mr. Trump fanned that fire. But other politicians, business and church leaders opened a window that accelerated the fire when they did not speak out harshly against Mr. Trump’s comments.
Don (Indianapolis)
Where's the mention of the out-of-control crime situation in San Francisco? There's a broader context that isn't even mentioned. Why don't we just defund the police?
Mari (Left Coast)
To those who say “both sides do it” I remind you of the recent incidents of armed vigilantes at Arizona drop boxes, who are menacing and threatening American voters! There is clearly one side who is “locked and loaded” and ready to start a Civil War, it is not the Democrats nor the Independents!
Joann (California)
Truely heart breaking events. If these horror stories and the daily general ugliness we are enduring don't bring out democrats and compassionate independants in droves to VOTE BLUE this election, I don't know what will. Please find your humanity and courage and stand up to cruelty and against infectious insanity.
Richf (Oregon)
I am not frightened so much as I am enraged. It is a much more dangerous emotion. I spent most of my adult life trying to dialogue with 'conservatives.' Now I just want to ......oh never mind.
Joe (Turnersville, NJ)
if we are so broken, why is it that we want to force democracy, capitalism and our ethos on the rest of the world, inflicting immense misery on many innocent people just to fulfill our agenda.
atb (Chicago)
I could not agree more. Halloween is nothing compared to the real life horror of every day in America. I don't trust anyone. I don't believe, even though I try to have them, in positive thoughts. Because people nowadays are indecent, immoral and simply feral. My dog is a better person than most I meet. In fact, I no longer think humans are the superior ones on the planet. Quite the opposite. The only good news here is that Mr. Pelosi is expected to recover and his attacker has so many felonies that he will likely be in prison for a very, very long time (one hopes!). I wish that could be said of all of the crooks on the right, especially Trump.
M. M. L. (Netherlands)
How would Glenn Youngkin feel if someone made such a flippant remark after his wife was attacked? He has revealed his callous political nature for all to see. Alas, his supporters don’t see that as a strike against him.
CalifCailin (San Francisco)
Here's how the violence manifests in real life: took the grandkids to a Halloween parade last week. Arrived at the start and left 30 mins later. Why? Because the risk of an enraged man showing up with a weapon of war is too high. "Land of the free" has been hijacked by gun manufacturers, their NRA mouthpiece, and the politicians and media personalities they own. While they attempt to condition us to believe that if we extend Active Shooter drills to preschool, and equip parents with DNA kits to identify kids' broken bodies, we're addressing the problem. It's simply hideous.
HOOZON FIRST (Bud'nLou)
The basic problem is that most people are much too lazy to think. Bumperstickers and certainty are much easier than nuance, perspective and dialogue. Which is why politics has become religion. And that is why the internet, the one truly democratic weapon of mas destruction, thrives.
John (dc)
Since the attack on Mr. Pelosi, the festering open sewer known as Twitter has been replete with vile lies about Paul Pelosi. Unlike his wife, he is a private figure, yet Twitter and other social media platforms, which have generated vast wealth for their owners, are immune from any liability under Section 230 of the grossly misnamed Communications Decency Act which states that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider" (47 U.S.C. § 230). President Biden has called for eliminating this shield. These powerful corporations should be held responsible for their content in the same fashion as newspapers.
Lisa (Expat In Brisbane)
I live in Australia, a dual citizen. I vote from abroad. While visiting friends and family this past North American summer, I was struck by how many of them asked me if it was possible to move, permanently, to Australia. (Answer: not that easy, especially if you’re over 45, as we have a great national healthcare system and we want immigrants who will have contributed to its tax base before they retire.) I am seriously considering renouncing my US citizenship. From here it looks like the US is circling the drain, with school shootings, women as slaves to blastomeres, a huge swath of the populace strenuously denying reality, and another huge swath not bothering to vote…. The casual violence, the selfishness, the wilful ignorance, the petty meanness in much of US life is astonishing. But hey, there’s 8 million channels on the tv…
HOOZON FIRST (Bud'nLou)
The basic problem is that most people are much too lazy to think. Bumperstickers and certainty are much easier than nuance, perspective, dialogue, and the compromise that a democracy necessitates. Which is why politics has become religion. And the internet, our one truly democratic weapon of mas destruction, guarantees a God to bless whatever you think. Many comment that we need to hold internet and TV purveyors of violence (and lies of the 2+2=5 clarity) accountable. While that is a worthy objective, I would ask how they specifically would go about accomplishing that in the real world, not some aspirational world. Two things to keep in mind when answering. First, the entire business model of the internet is clickbait, and most folks are more likely to click on absurdities and mayhem than on peace, love, and good vibes. Second, most (not all!) members of Congress are politically owned by gazillionaires. And what would you do about the fact that so many who are outraged by Big Oil, Big Pharma, Republicans, or corporate America in general, nonetheless give a pass to -- even admire -- such a huge threat as Elon Musk? One person worth a trillion dollars (or a quarter of that if he liquidated quickly) is more of a danger to America than all the Marjie Greenes put together. If he decides to spend opposing abortion, supporting restrictive voting laws, or buying an AK47 for every Republican Party,member, there is nothing to stop him. So, how would you clean things up?
Lianne (Connecticut)
As human beings, faulty and frail as some of us are, we can dislike or disagree within anyone. What we cannot do is become the judge, jury and executioner of those we don't agree with. And that goes for AL of us, whether Democrats or Rupublicans. It is okay to disagree with politics, agendas, policies or people. It is NOT okay to go after a person and act on those feelings! I am appalled that anyone would break in to someone's home to avenge some hatred or animosity they hold inside. My sincerest prayers go out to the Pelosis during this horrific time. We ALLneed to call out this vitriol that spews forth and learn to live within civilized boundaries with respect for all human life!
Liz (PA)
There is a rise in Vigilantism both from the public and from GOP legislatures who promote laws in states like Texas unleashing the public on abortion providers and women seeking abortions as well as permitless carry. The Supreme Court let the vigilante law stay. Trump in his rally speeches has often encouraged vigilantism as well. This combined with hate speech and lies and conspiracy theories is creating a very dangerous America.
lswope (Oahu, Hawaii)
Thank you Maureen. We need voices which offer perspective, and, dare I say, sanity.
Jim (Bothell, WA)
I don't know one Republican who has the ability to think 3 seconds into the future. There is no understanding that the hatred and vile they extend to "owning the libs" will be returned many times to them and all of us should they destroy our Constitution. The Republicans have no concept of the fire that they are playing with. Authoritarian leaders have no choice but to eventually come after everyone in order to keep and expand their power. How bizarre to realize that Putin will win? Putin is out to "own the Republicans".
EMiller (Kingston, NY)
I am appalled by Glenn Youngkin's comment about Nancy Pelosi. A person of such caliber is the governor of Virginia? I don't care what various pundits say about the need to reach out across the partisan divide to understand opposite points of view. Not when those points of view are devoid of intelligence, maturity, humanity. Violence is unfortunately becoming a more commonplace solution to problems by unhinged individuals in the US but is ignored by politicians on the right when it is perpetrated by people who share their points of view. How many Republican politicians have you heard vigorously condemning mass gun violence, the killing in Charlottesville a few years ago, the January 6th attack on police and the Capitol? Someone like Youngkin is likely to base his political platform on how Democrats are soft on crime and look how he responds to a politically motivated criminal attack. Personally, I am sick and tired of having to share this beautiful nation with neighbors like those.
Susan Bodiker (Washington, DC)
It is only through Paul Pelosi's presence of mind and the police dispatcher's intuition that he is alive today. Just out of curiosity, wouldn't the Pelosis have had a security system in place? Why didn't that alert the police when the back door was broken/entered? A nightmare...
Abolghassem Abraham Sadegh (Fallon, Nevada)
To summarize, The Pelosis and a Haunted America, October 28, 2022, Donald Trump is the personification of the Evil. Within each one of us exist both an evil and a saint and all the variations in between. And regarding the Republican Party, with rare exception, their gods are wealth and power as reflected in the Bottom Line of the accounting statements. It is horrifying to imagine having an absolute narcissist and the most powerful individual in the world putting an end to "One Nation under God Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for All."
EK (Grand Rapids)
There is craziness but it does not come from only one side--it is from both. Jan 6 was terrible, and election deniers are just wrong. But as one reader noted there have been attacks on both republicans and democrats. Just as the right needs to sort out their direction and where they take their cues, the left needs to stop vilifying bodies they don't agree with (yes--the Supreme Court). In both cases the public takes cues from the leaders, and right now neither side seems to understand the fundamental concepts of grace and compromise (and not crying foul when they don't get their way). Opinion pieces like this will have more impact when the entirety of an issue is explored. The violence against the Pelosi's is reprehensible and the insensitive comments uncalled for. But support the title by pulling in all of haunted America, not just one side or the other.
Dr. M (SanFrancisco)
@EK I disagree. The center or the left hasn't stormed the capital. They didn't scream to find and kill various people in the government. The center or the left hasn't demanded that women's bodies be controlled by politicians, rather than modern health care. The left is not removing people from the voting roster. I haven't heard the center or left joke and snark about the attack on Mr Pelosi. The left hasn't declared that it's a great idea to allow to everyone to carry deadly arms,without permits, or to repeal some folk's marriages. As for "vilifying" SCOTUS- yes, words are ok; political action is ok - but definitely haven't heard that centrists or lefties are conspiring to violently storm the court, with arms. I could go on and on.
Thomas (Chicago)
Sorry, the rioting/looting you are talking about was absolutely condemned by democratic politicians. In my city the message was, you are on video, we will find you, we will charge you, and we will put you in jail. And they did arrest people for weeks and months afterwards. Just because the right says the left never condemned the riots doesn’t mean it’s true. What the left did do was make a distinction between the protesting and the rioting, which is a fair point whether you are talking about summer 2020 or Jan 6th (“mostly peaceful”). But let’s make a couple other another distinctions. The BLM protests were not organized by a politician. The Jan 6th protest was absolutely organized by the president’s team. Also, what were people upset about? The BLM folks were protesting the violent killing of a man by police, and racial injustice in general. Jan 6th was protesting the counting of our votes, the cornerstone of democracy. So it’s not exactly and apples to apples comparison. The violence of 2020 wasn’t okay (and know one is saying it was). But it also wasn’t literally a coup attempt. One more distinction: we have a framework for the blm protests, Rodney King, the 60’s, etc. there is a precedent for it. We understand it. There was no precedent for Jan 6th. It isn’t understandable as anything other than an attempt to stop democracy in its tracks.
Ellen S. (by the sea)
@Viv, comparing protests after the murder of George Floyd to the insurrection to overturn the presidential election is an inapt comparison, apples to oranges. For one thing, most of the BLM protests WERE peaceful. Moreover, the insurrection was a direct (failed) coup attempt, whereas BLM protests were in response to entrenched historical racial injustice. Most importantly the insurrection was based upon factually incorrect idea that the election was stolen, while the BLM protests were about known, well documented factual information -- a black man was murdered in broad daylight by the police, videotaped, seen by millions. Rioting and looting in the aftermath of the Floyd murder was a relatively small part of a very large complex picture of racial injustice and organized demonstrations to protest it. The insurrection was clear-cut and relatively simple: Trump lost the election and manipulated his followers into violently attacking the Capitol, to hang Mke Pence, to harm those who got in their way (including police officers), etc. When Scalise was shot there was tremendous outrage, ongoing coverage and a show of public concern for him. Perhaps you forgot about that.
Citizen (NYC)
I was born in 1946, one of the first Boomers. I have seen politics in this country swing from left to right and back continually, seen so many bad actors (mostly on the Right), but this is the nadir of American life, from it’s culture to it’s politics. Greed, hate, and violence seem to be the Right’s calling card. It’s like an episode of The Twilight Zone.
Rajashekhar Patre (Bangalore, India)
@Citizen Violence is part of American ethos for decades, but lately it is swinging up and causing immense harm for innocent people as for a dignified social order.This is happening because, Republicans are swinging too much to the right and they are gaining ground politically. This has accelerated due to a businessman turned politician, viz Trump. The social media and the internet further helps towards the direction of Right and people is falling for these untruths easily. American people need to think and reflect sincerely in choosing the right candidates for election to Congress.Otherwise, things can never be same ever.
Robert (Out West)
Hooray. A grownup; thanks.
Mac (oregon)
One of the major political parties is awash in self deceit and busies itself promulgating an agenda of chaos. They have embraced and sanctified a transition that resembles more and more a cultish coalition jacked up divisiveness and conspiracies.Throw a in few choice seeds that are easily interpreted by a significant number of members as advocating violence and the hammers will fall. That's a behavior people have capitulated to throughout time. The party is headless. That's their halloween gift to America. It is a sorry state of affairs for a political party when your go to card is fear.
Robert (Out West)
Yep; it’s generally been my experience that the more somebody chitters about their bravery and your fear, the more terrified they are themselves.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Here's the explanation to end all debate; The political leaders are vastly outnumbered by millions of soldiers and veterans, and over a hundred intelligence agencies who have conquered the world and now we are their focus, on their Television cameras and we are being taken over.
KI (Asia)
The problem is that this kind of incident, even more, urges Republicans to vote for their candidates. Trump made this rule.
HOOZON FIRST (Bud'nLou)
The basic problem is that most people are much too lazy to think. Bumperstickers and certainty are much easier than nuance, perspective, dialogue, and the compromise that a democracy necessitates. Which is why politics has become religion. And the internet, our one truly democratic weapon of mas destruction, guarantees a God to bless whatever you think.
Thomchat (Chicago)
@HOOZON FIRST I'll tell you how I would clean things up: Get rid of citizens united and remove the political bribery we have accepted since 2014.
Mike (Republic Of Texas)
@HOOZON FIRST Going back 120 years, people were perfectly able to kill and maim others. I think it's a people problem.
Par Ici (Par Là)
The problem of our dysfunctional, deranged society is so multifaceted it’s mind blowing. The working poor have too long been dismissed, the gap rich/poor creates rage; there’s severe lack of education among the masses. Homelessness. Guns are candy. Our country has too long chosen to ignore & support the needy, neglect mental health. Community mental health centers have been seriously underfunded for decades. Insurance companies refused to equate mental health care with normal health care. Schools did away with counselors. Poor families fell apart. Parents no longer have the knowledge, support or ability to parent. Single parents are overwhelmed and unable to cope. Jails have become the repository for the mentally ill. Hospitals can no longer treat patients for long term therapeutic stays but are forced to practice the new modern psychiatry called “haul ‘em in and haul ‘em out”. 48 hours and you’re out unless you’re so ill you might get admitted to a state psychiatric facility which also doesn’t have room and will send the patient back to the street in short order. We see mass shootings committed by young people who are so mentally unbalanced and desperate for attention they’ll kill others and themselves. Young people have replaced structure with wild, confusing and misguided social media whose creators are complicit. So, what is the US of A going to do about mental health, and the politicians who are partisan to a mentally ill former president? For now: VOTE!
Lawyermom (Washington DC)
Social media has made everything more volatile. I don’t mind crackpots on soapboxes. I can put up with leaflets from home printers. But just as the government has oversight over the airwaves, it needs to have some over the internet.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
@Lawyermom But, the constitutional experts will cry their freedoms are being taken ignoring that there is no expectation of free speech if that speech incites and causes injury or harm to others-the crying fire in a crowded theater scenario.
Rhyta (Utah)
@Dan Agreed, We just saw that play out in Arizona where a Federal Judge refused to stop armed poll watchers from intimidating voters from depositing ballots in county drop boxes. Their freedom of expression is more important than the implied threat to voters by the prominent display of guns? Our country is so messed up.
Lynn Russell (Los Angeles)
@Lawyermom Social media has created cowards of most devotees who use lethal words as their ammunition and appear to be driven by hate, greed and ambition. An unrecognizable country we have become.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
People in a civil society have the right to be at home or in public in safety from violence by strangers. Having treated others as they would be treated themselves, they should feel secure from harm and able to live in peace. The kind of violence that comes from assigning individuals to represent threats in the imaginations of others as Nancy Pelosi was by this assailant is the same as scapegoating was by the ancients. It’s the way confused minds try to appeal to invisible forces who they believe determine what happens to mortal beings. Destroying the scapegoat was a sacrifice to the invisible forces so that they would allow the community to prosper once forgiven. Generally, modern people blame each other for social and political discontent not invisible forces, so they want their adversaries to change their behavior or remove themselves from the authority to act on behalf of others. Doing violence is generally not done until people are feeling desperate and with no alternatives, unless they are severely disturbed. There were many nasty expressions and threats to do harm directed at President Obama by the influential but minority of Republican from the extreme right but these remarks were not the public expressions of Mitt Romney in 2012. But with Trump the nastinesses were standard crowd arousing expressions, and it was deliberately fine to anger and excite the crowds. It also resonated with the deep dark motives of people who were unstable and prone to violence.
Ruthanne (Louisville KY)
What is the point of the FCC if not to exercise some oversight of the violent postings on social media? Of course, I realize that it has been hobbled since Reagan vetoed the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 ( I believe). And the Republicans' fervor to dismantle the "Administrative State" means this agency is probably on their chopping block anyway if they take control. But this violent rhetoric is way out of control and needs to be stopped. This is not Free Speech; it's spreading dangerous lies and threatening people's lives. It needs to end or we're headed for disaster.
Walter Ingram (Western MD)
@Ruthanne The Supreme Court will take care of the FCC and the other federal agencies. Leo Leonard has made sure of it. From the article. “I cannot believe anybody would vote for these people,” (Nancy Pelosi) I can't either Madam Speaker, but they do.
Tom Tuna (Michigan)
@Ruthanne In case you haven't noticed, Corporate America runs everything. The FCC is waiting for permission.
David Henry (Concord)
@Walter Ingram Oh, it's all so hopeless.
Marc (NYC)
It’s not a coincidence that this rising violence occurred during and after Trump. The President is arguably the most powerful, most publicized, most reported on person in the world. Never before has a president openly espoused hatred and racism, promoted violence and gleefully insulted and denigrated opponents, whether perceived or real. If the most important person in the world is promoting hatred and violence, the result will surely be more violence. Such an obvious and avoidable situation.
M Ford (USA)
@Marc Trump scored well on YouGov's world's most admired man for 2021 and Gallup's 2020 world's most admired man polls. He was ranked #13 and #1. Gallup's poll was of Americans, while YouGov polled 38 countries. Trump is not a racist. He is not promoting hatred or violence. Those are far left conspiracy theories that are rejected in the real world. Putin and Xi Jinping are both in the top ten on YouGov's most admired men poll. The only people in the world that believe far left conspiracy theories about Trump and the Republicans are the people that promote them. The Democrats don't like the world's most admired leaders. Everybody else likes them.
Tracy (Arizona)
@Marc He is NOT the most important person in the world. In fact, no one is "the most important."
Russ Malahowski (Missoula Montana)
I am a retired old man. I have seen politics from Eisenhower to now. In all that time, I have noted one common thread. Liberals generally eschew violence, whereas conservatives are all too often prepared to favor it. And there are members of both parties who are conservatives (remember Dixiecrats?). But in recent years the acceptability of violence has clearly belonged to the Republican party. There was a day when, at least the leaders of the party were anti violence. But that day is long gone. And the recent turn is all due to one man. Donald Trump. Oh there were those who advocated violence in the past, but saner voices prevailed. But not Trump. He clearly not only advocated violence, he churned it, most notably on 1/6/21. Like all dictators, or wanna be dictators, he recognizes that as the leader of a cult, he has to hold violence as a tool. And, like all cults, the Republican party, ultimately invokes itself as being the representatives of God. Once Gods name is used, the followers of the cult will do ANYTHING, including murder. I am glad I am old. I don't have much time left on this beautiful little planet. For when the Republicans regain control, which seems ordained, the days of democracy in this nation, and on this world are numbered. I won't survive to see the worst, and am thankful for my pending release. Farewell freedom, it's been nice.
PS1 (NYC)
@Russ Malahowski Thanks for chiming in, Russ! I hope to see Missoula some day. I hope we're all still the USA when I do.
Jim (Georgia)
@Russ Malahowski I'm afraid I feel much as you do. Sadly, I think we're witnessing the beginnings of the end of the American Dream. -Jim's wife
Brent Mcnally (Adelaide)
uss Malahowski Yes to see the way the USA has declined these last few years is truly troubling With the rise of China militarily and economically and with a despot running Russia the world needs a strong united US not the mess we see today And yes Trump and some of the dangerous people he has empowered are the reason
Spruce-fir (Maine)
Unfortunately, there will be no legal consequences for the GOP leaders who are stoking violence so it will continue unabated. The lessons of history clearly tell us where this is headed.
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
I'm just as worried about the people who are counting the votes. I wish that some foreign power would liberate us, preferably Canada.
Ned Merrill (In The Biswanger’s Pool)
@Stephanie Wood Former President Carter used to head up delegations to monitor elections in some countries where fairness was a concern. Perhaps something like that should be considered for the 2024 elections, made up of members from neutral nations, without any apparent stake in the results. I suggest looking to Scandinavian countries.
Jonathan (Boston)
@Spruce-fir Where IS this headed?
Perry J.G. (Toronto, Ontario Canada)
What has happened to America that now half of Americans wholeheartedly embrace fascism or some idea of a strong authoritariam leader? That see violence (or the threat of) as acceptable form of persuasion. This is not hyperbole. I do not say this lightly. It is what I see from observing the societal changes in America since at least the presidency of George W. Bush. Or perhaps to the time of Newt Gingrich as House Speaker. The hatred is visceral and out of control. And out of context. Nothing good will come out of it. I am reminded of the importance of history to see where such hatreds lead. So, now, more than ever, the lessons of the events of the 1930s in Europe preceding World War 2 need to be better taught. Before it is too late.
Rob Mills (Canada)
@Perry J.G. yeh, I used to feel I was being a tad alarmist in pondering comparisons to Weimar Germany. Not anymore.
DJ (ct)
It is too late to stop this juggernaut. The GOP will get control and drive the country into ruin. Trump, McCarthy, McConnell, DeSantis and the gang will grab what they can for themselves on the way down. Nothing will change until we reach the Slough of Despond and it will be a miracle if we can climb out of it. Half the country is unethical, amoral or just plain stupid and you can't fix any of that. I live in a blue state and I have no intention of leaving it. I'm 71 and I feel terrible for the young people I know and the good people in the country. My heart aches for the planet and wildlife as well. I used to care about everybody, but my heart is closed to Republicans and any who support them
Fane Wazny (San Diego, CA)
@Perry J.G. Hopefully Canada will open its doors to those of us who need to escape. Can’t believe this is really happening in my country.
Meredith (New York)
The music to ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ about witches, demons and evil that Dowd heard as a child may be quite apt for a 'haunted' America now(?) But I love to hear a completely different piece by Mussorgsky--- his famous, uplifting “Dawn on the Moscow River'--- about the rising sun---with gorgeous instrumental orchestration. Played often in concerts and radio, it’s a short prelude to Mussorgsky's opera Khovanshchina, about the political turmoil surrounding Tsar Peter the Great. I haven't heard the opera--- but just hearing the marvelous Dawn prelude is inspiring and positive. Great for a walk in the park, looking at the sky. We need it now, of all times
Nan Green (Chicago.IL)
@Meredith - One might hope that you followed up on "Dawn" with Mahler's exquisite Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection." I generally brush aside the allegations that Mahler was anti-Semitic, and try to concentrate on the music. As the old saw says, God works his wonders in mysterious ways. The world should give him a chance.
Perry J.G. (Toronto, Ontario Canada)
@Nan Green Gustav Mahler was not antisemitic. This is nonsense. Mahler was born a Jew, was raised as a Jew and suffered intense antisemitism during his professional life, in particular during his 10-year tenure at the Vienna State Opera. His conversion from Judaism to Catholicism was a mere formality, since Jews were not considered for the directorship of the Vienna Hofoper.
sailorken (canada(westcoast))
@Meredith boycott everything Russian, books, music, vodka etc. there is lots of other great music.
Mark Buckley (Boston, MA)
Ronald Reagan unleashed the Furies, with fiscal insanity and a massive military buildup during peacetime. (This now includes aircraft carriers too complex to leave port.) The lingering structural deficits persist to this day. Then the Clintons NAFTA'd the manufacturing economy. Working people have been abandoned by both their government and their employer, including the privatization of both healthcare and defined-benefit pensions. The Furies fill that civic void.
Alan (Minneapolis)
@Mark Buckley Why are we still on the narrative that it was the Clintons who brought us NAFTA. It was brought forth by republicans in Congress and Bush I, and more of a % of R’s in Congress voted for it than D’s. Clinton was taken in by it, but let’s please dump that narrative. We can’t rely on D’s to protect the henhouse all of the time when the R’s were always the foxes ready to raid. It’s holding D’s to a higher standard when both parties should be judged on an equivalent scale.
'Mericun in Canada (Canada)
@Mark Buckley Reagan started the Free Trade down spin. Clinton brought Mexico in, but by then the damage was done.
Joinery Piling Up (Charlottesville)
@Mark Buckley Furries have litter boxes in schools, says the General Bolduc of New Hampshire
Kirk (Boston, ma)
Maureen, Thank you for this great opinion article. You couldn’t be more correct. I think this ranks right up there with the opinion you wrote regarding the attack on Judge Kavanaugh and the impact to his wife and family. Keep up the great work! All the best, Kirk
RubberSoul (New York)
@Kirk The man who conspired to attack Justice Kavanaugh never attacked Justice Kavanaugh, never even got near Justice Kavanaugh, and turned himself in to police. But it’s nice to pretend the cases are the same and to feign indignation that one — the more shocking and borderline-lethal case — got more coverage.
John M. Hammer (Queens, NY)
By “attack” you mean when his visit to an ice-cream parlor was interrupted by people yelling at him for taking away their civil rights?
David H (Northern Va.)
Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" is the perfect antidote to "Night on Bald Mountain."
Laura J (Taos, NM)
Pretty scary, really. I fully expect a lot of nation-wide craziness in the next couple of weeks. I think the atmosphere is right for a civil uprising, but I'm not quite sure how it would manifest. Very glad the Dems are in power at the moment. Regardless of how voting comes out, they WILL remain so until January 20th, 2023, and maybe things will have calmed down by then. Maybe.
Denis Montenier (Hudson, Iowa)
@Laura J ..Agreed...for the most part. Unfortunately, as long as Q'Anon, the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and especially the former guy are espousing violence on social media, things will only get worse.
John levis (Philadelphia)
Maureen: You are right. It is a frightful state of affairs in so many ways. I would urge caution, however, in calling the results of this election cycle. We are in the midst of it-and in reality it is too close and unstable to call. Let's not have the media dissuade voters from devoting their full energies to mailing in their ballots or going to the polls. Reality-while we have a 50-50 split in the senate at present, the Democrats represent a much greater portion of the electorate-a difference of approximately 40 million people. In other words, there are more Democrats than Republicans. If Democrats turn out in force then they can win. I have lost faith in the polls and am concentrating on the election...which appears to be, in many places be a statistical tie. I think that this in itself is significant. It is still a game that can be won. The Democrats had more than a "nice run"-there were some genuine legislative achievements from which we, including Republican representative who voted against much of these articles and then rushed to take credit for that which they voted against, have benefited. Remain at the oars for now-and be more circumspect about steering the boat. These pronouncement about the outcome are damaging. We need the energy to remain high in these last days of this election cycle.
Abby (Richmond)
@John levis Thank you John. I needed this bit of reassurance.
Humanbeing (NYC)
Young people, people with the least money and power and many people from communities likely to suffer under a fascist-leaning regime don't vote in the numbers Republicans do. The non-voters may find out the hard way that we are headed for trouble if the GQP gets back in. I understand why many people feel that it doesn't matter whether they vote or not because many politicians don't listen to the people anyway. In this case, though, there is a real difference between the two parties. What will happen to this country if the Republicans retake Congress is a dismal prospect for anyone except the one-percent, who will have free reign to take the few scraps they haven't already helped themselves to. What they will do to the remaining freedoms we still have doesn't bear thinking about.
Cassandra (Arizona)
Calvin Coolidge was president when I was born and I remember what the atmosphere before Pearl Harbor was like. Racism, anti-antisemitism and fascism were openly expressed and lunching was not unheard of, but the talk now is much worse For a comparison I think we have to look at the 1855-1860, and we know what happened after that
A (Bangkok)
@Cassandra OK, but then which side gets the Nukes?
David (Atlantic Beach, NY)
It’s been a wonderful experiment, this democracy. I fear that these haters are determined to destroy it. Then we will know just how remarkable - and fragile - it has always been.
MO19 (Atlanta, Ga)
@David But not to forget, early intervention is the action required. There needs to be a flood of publicity, presentations - activity challenging these attempts. The Jan.6 Hearings were a perfect example, now we must see and hear an organized stream of similar actions. If we, the people, don't object - we tacitly accept!! The Dems need to get moving. Time's running short.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
@David Many predict this mid term election and the election in 2024 will be our last free and fair election in this country as our experiment in democracy will have met its fate-radicalism perpetuated by those who desire authoritarian rule-and those aren’t the “radical left”.
Brendan Varley (Tavares Fla)
It is beyond obvious that we can destroy the USA as we’ve always thought of it. What we replace it with will be a nightmare of the first order. No one will be happy with it.
NorCal (Northern California)
A lot of us will fight to bring back freedom and democracy. Never underestimate the determination of a soccer mom and what she’ll do for her kids.
DJ (ct)
According to the polls, the soccer moms are supporting Trump , DeSantis and company.
Smilodon7 (Gilead, The State Formerly Known As Missouri)
I’d have more faith in that if so many soccer moms weren’t helping blow it up. Been to any school board meetings lately? They are about THEIR kids but the sad part is a lot of them don’t care about anyone else’s. We don’t do anything for the team anymore, it’s everyone for themselves.
Robert Lebovitz (Dallas Texas)
There is an apt quote from the film "Citizen Kane" that should be recalled with both hope and fear. After prolonged exposure to Kane's hubris, Boss Gettys tells him: "You're the greatest fool I've ever known, Kane. If it was[sic] anybody else, I'd say what's going to happen to you would be a lesson to you. Only you're going to need more than one lesson. And you're going to get more than one lesson." At first I thought this might be applied to Trump and the Republican leadership. It is more apt, however, to send it in the direction of that segment of the American public who continue to support them despite all that has been exposed and widely disseminated. That in most districts a majority of Republican voters accept on faith the pronouncements of disturbed souls such as Lindell—and Giuliani, Powell, Stone, Greene, DeSantis, and so forth—suggests that American democracy being regularly maligned by its former leader and much of the Republican leadership does not trouble them. Perhaps—and this is obviously a cynical suggestion—it may not be such a disaster to let them have their way and live out the consequences. While calamitous in the short term—yes, for us all—in the long term it may provide the clarifying cleansing we need, foster another excision of that recurring malignancy from which our body politic now suffers. Abstractions can be debated without end; reality suffers no debate.
eaalice (East Aurora, NY)
@Robert Lebovitz Yes, but what about those of us approaching the end of our lives---I'm older than Paul and Nancy Pelosi---who don't want to die in a theocratic autocracy because of where it would leave our descendants? On the other hand, a Republican totalitarian regime could be what kills us off ultimately. The GOP version of assisted suicide.
MO19 (Atlanta, Ga)
@Robert Lebovitz We are getting the "cleansing" already, only from the wrong side! Ask Mrs. Pelosi. What's next, uniformed Street gangs?
mgb (boston)
Never in our history have we been served up such a potpourri of incompetent charlatans for elected office. They are not willfully ignorant; they are just dumb. Their acceptance and promotion as viable candidates by the party of law and order and family values goes beyond hypocrisy, it is plain evil.
Veronica (West Hartford CT.)
@mgb Well said and the reason is that competence and integrity have been replaced, with who can better fundraise, who can raise more money, that explains someone like Marjorie Taylor Greene who is the highest fundraiser in congress with 0 qualifications for her position in congress , Oz and the rest of them same, money is everything and now unlimited money, undisclosed money has been etched in stone by the Supreme Court it is called Citizens United.
MKR (Philadelphia)
@mgb "Never in our history have we been served up such a potpourri of incompetent charlatans for elected office." The Congress has always been a lunatic asylum. But it's only recently that lunatics have been in charge of half of the asylum - i.e. the leadership of one of the two parties.
Artie Ash (Connecticut)
I have read that ethical Germans, before the Nazis came to power, first regarded Hitler as a joke, only to slowly realize he was a monster capable of appealing to, and then leading the vicious forces in others. Millions upon millions dead. I believe, as a citizenry, we have made the same underestimation of the power of evil.
R. Graham (Ashland,Or.)
@Artie Ash I agree. Maybe the smart writers from NYT,WP,WSJ would visit German journalists of 1933 - 1945 and read what they wished they had written.
Sjsocon (VA)
@Artie Ash And many people realized Trump was a wolf in sheep's clothing who should never be in office, based on his life's work...which was bankrupting his businesses while portraying/lying about himself being a Billionaire. He was on a down spiral financially, until Mark Burnett put him on TV. But the Media bought his campaign where he spent time LYING, hook, line and sinker and it was all downhill after that. Now Trump is a dangerous National Menace, who attracts crazy people who tried to kill our Speaker, harmed her husband instead, and one of Trump's crazed fans tried to kill the FBI, for doing their jobs for the DOJ. Now the mini Trump's like Youngkin, Lake, OZ, etc., are showing signs that they too are dangerous and willing to lie to get elected. Trump is like an evil doll we can't seem to put back in it's box.
Curious (Marfa, Texas)
If the Governor of Virginia made that joke, then he’s a disgrace.
TomV (Florida)
@Curious He did, and he is.
2manyhorsez (DC area)
@Curious Many of us knew that, but fools still voted for him. Thank god VA governors can only serve one term!
Allison (Edinburgh)
@Curious he did, there is a video of it.
Jeanne D. Miner (Wethersfield, CT)
'Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia...: "There’s no room for violence anywhere, but we’re going to send her back to be with him in California.”' A governor, and not of Texas or Florida, said this. My jaw literally dropped. How depraved!
Cate (New Mexico)
@Jeanne D. Miner: I share your sentiments--but I wonder if Youngkin didn't feel very safe saying such a thing--perhaps even scoring political points After all, given the alarming large numbers of Trump supporters who may not have been troubled at all by this attack--maybe Youngkin welcomed the opportunity to prove himself to them.
Boberto (Red Bear Republic)
@Cate Exactly.
Jan F. (Los Angeles)
@Cate And that is exactly what is wrong with this country right now. Every elected official should have spoken out immediately against this attack and say it was wrong and then express heartfelt sympathy for the Pelosis for having to go through this horrible ordeal.
Kate S. (Reston, VA)
That's my governor you're talking about -- Trump Lite!! What a creep!!
2manyhorsez (DC area)
@Kate S. Amen. he's got to go...a MAGA in moderate's clothing.
Barrett Thiele (Red Bank, NJ)
There is reason to hope though. In the Ukraine, Russian "tourists" are bringing much needed revenue into a poorly run "Nazi" country, entertaining Ukraine women with wine and potatos while freeing the country of unneeded parents of recent orphans. And in America, "tourists" that took advantage in January of 2021 of the opportunity to "redecorate" the drab halls of Congress are being offered the opportunity to "redesign" a Constitution more accommodating for the wealthy and provide iron-clad protection to the native-born Christians who need help from the diseased drug carrying thugs entering the country trying to rape our women and dishonor our traditions.
Minneapolis Maven (Minnesota)
This is not "both sides, and it is disheartening to see an attempted assasination of Nancy Pelosi pushed off the pages for a tragedy in Seoul. The Times has devolved into a milquetoast "both sides" weeniedom. Paul Pelosi has a SKULL FRACTURE. This was an attemped ASSASINATION. Cover it as such,not just another bump in the fascist takeover of America. Pretty soon, the only thing allowable will be the milquetoast.
Ned Merrill (In The Biswanger’s Pool)
@Minneapolis Maven The local authorities have termed the attack as "attempted homicide," which it clearly was (I like the additional charge of "elder abuse," too!) If Nancy Pelosi had been at home, it would have been an attempted assassination. I expect there will be additional, federal charges as the investigation continues.
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
I wouldn't call the deaths of 149 people in Seoul "milquetoast."
Steve Singer (Chicago)
I’d rather not … wait. Sometimes I wonder how we’re going to survive. Republicans are obviously, definitely the “Stupid Party”. But Democrats run an obviously brain-damaged candidate in Pennsylvania? They’ve got no margin for error — none at all — and they run an obviously brain-damaged candidate in Pennsylvania? “Oh, he wouldn’t get out of the race …”. “Oh, there are Pennsylvania Democratic Party rules …”. … and this and that. Excuses, excuses. Whatever happened to the ancient wisdom of “Never complain. Never explain.”? Whatever happened to “Just do it?” Always an excuse for inaction. Always an excuse for incompetence, too. I mean, look at The Stpid Party’s senate candidate Hershel Walker in Georgia. No college degree; not even a lowly B.A. And it shows. Bet he can’t read, or reads at a 3rd grade level. Can’t write. Can’t speak a coherent sentence. Has 5-6 kids, each by a different mother — that we know about. He denies it as best he can. So, we know that he’s amoral and “can’t keep it zipped”. And he’s a hypocrite who runs on an anti-abortion platform although he paid for multiple abortions in the past. His response? He brushes it aside as “irrelevant foolishness”. And he’s neck-&-neck in his senate race because his Democratic opponent is … “blah” …. That’s our choice. A choice between a vicious, homocidal Stupid Party and a weak, incompetent, inept Effete Party. The Stupids vs The Effetes. What a choice … .
Margaret (San Diego)
@Steve Singer I'm a Democrat and a former activist, of which I am proud in my nineties. And don't call me effete. It deeply hurts. I don't even know if I'll feel better in two years.
John levis (Philadelphia)
@Steve Singer Brain damaged-let us not perform surgery with a hatchet instead of a scalpel.....He has what is called expressive aphasia-at least according to reports that I have heard. He can think and reason clearly-it is an inhibition of his ability to comprehend certain words quickly enough to play in a lightening-round debate-hence the teleprompter. The senate is a deliberative body where considerable amounts of time are required to arrive at a decision-his ability at judgement and discernment appeared to be unimpaired-and the sense of rightness stood in stark contrast to the huckstering, snake oil peddling, and totally bereft of depth or compassion-Mehmet Oz. Let us not underestimate the character building potential that is won through the overcoming of adversity. He stood before the people of the United States as he was at that moment-and accounted for himself well, over all. I think he will serve Pennsylvania well and he will fight for things that we need-like helping to preserve our representative government, a women's right to choose for what is best for her, social security which has been part of the bedrock of our safety net for those who have turned in a lifetime of work and of course, Medicare. Fetterman got my vote and is getting my support. It is clear cut to me-either vote for the treatment that has the best chance for a good outcome or vote for the cancer. And...talk to someone who has come back from a stroke-and who is still standing and still strong.....
Smilodon7 (Gilead, The State Formerly Known As Missouri)
Difficulty speaking does NOT mean that there is anything whatsoever wrong with your thinking. You can have trouble speaking or hearing and still have a perfectly sharp mind. Does the name Steven Hawking ring a bell?
Frank (NY)
When will Democratic leaders and rank and file along with responsible media call out the Republican Party every time? They are a fascist party who do not believe in the rule of law and are traitors, enthralled to authoritarians like Putin and Orban.
Dick Joyce (Tucson)
So Governor Youngkin wants to send Nancy Pelosi back to California? Last I heard, she was elected to Congress by her consitituents in California, not by yahoos in Virginia. The Governor should go back to high school and take a basic civics course.
Robert (Seattle)
A recent project interviewed the Republicans in Congress who have gone along with what's-his-name. A majority of them talked about how afraid they have been for their own safety and the safety of their families, after the unprecedented behavior and threats of violence from the MAGA crowd. Makes one think that this is something along the lines of a brownshirt phenomenon, in which individual actors, who are motivated by the same lies, fear and dehumanization, perpetrate some of the more significant violence.
Joe (Rochester, NY)
Ever notice that most assassinations are perpetrated by radical so called conservatives? They should rightly be called fascists as should anyone, especially elected officials, calling for violence. Not just in our country. Hitler's brown shirts went after opponents as did Mussolini's. Stalin caused the slaughter of millions. Rabin of Israel murdered by a fascist opposed to peace. These people are self-righteous sociopaths who never even look into a mirror and the world has lost so much due to their actions. The people who support or are silent-yes GOP leadership-should be ashamed but they live by calculation not honesty.
Vivian (California)
I feel like we're in a steampunk novel where all the demons are ripping the fabric of the sky apart and taking residence in bodies after the victims' souls have been sucked out.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Military Television is destroying our nation allowing them to take control after we have self destructed. That is the military mission creep coup. It makes the coup appear justified to prevent our foreign allies from helping us.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Thanks Maureen. We both have the common goal of saving the American people from horrors.
former therapist (Washington)
Either we are at the cusp of incivility and violence which will slowly abate, or it will tear our country down into an authoritarian state. I'm hoping I won't have to pack my bags just yet...but how many others have hesitated and then lost their lives and the lives of their loved ones? People, VOTE like your life depends on it. Don't sit this one out.
David H (Northern Va.)
@former therapist Who do you recommend I vote for? The feckless, fiscally irresponsible and hopelessly complacent Democrats, or the antagonistic, authoritarian-minded, election-denying Republicans? I will be sitting this one out, because I am sickened by both political parties. While hoping that the GOP gets control of the government purse strings to put an end to our perpetuation of a war in the middle of Europe.
Vivek36 (New York)
@former therapist Did you know that the intruder DePape was ALSO injured? Did you know that the intruder allowed Paul Pelosi to go into the bathroom where the latter made a call and called the police? Please do not rely on this newspaper to tell you the whole truth.
RL_NYC (Here)
I remember that part of Fantasia vividly - I started to scream with fear in the theater and my father had to carry me out. I was very young - but what is happening now is equally as terrifying to this 53 year old NYer. What can be done? People tell me to not watch the news. What have we become?
Frake (PNW)
What terrifies me is the fact that all three of the main greenhouse gases driving global warming increased last year to record high levels. Methane emissions surged in the biggest increase in 40 years. The cause of the record breaking increase in methane is unknown. I think the rise in extremism and psychosis and deaths of despair are all tied to climate breakdown. We all feel a hammer is hanging over our heads. Whether we consciously acknowledge the threat or not, it remains an existential threat, implacable, unreasonable, inevitable. Our collective psychology is buckling because global warming is increasing and our instinct for self preservation understands that nowhere is safe anymore. https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/more-bad-news-planet-greenhouse-gas-levels-hit-new-highs
Jane (PA)
@Frake I absolutely agree and I have been saying this for some time.
Heather (San Diego, CA)
We've got to get big money out of politics. American voters need to vote on reality, not poisoned rhetoric. We have right wing outlets convincing Republican voters that all policies from Democrats will result in a government like China's. And that is quite simply not true. Adopting a healthcare system similar to Canada's or returning to a tax code like that of the 1970's to ensure a more equitable contribution of funds for the nation in which the very wealthy chip in their fair share is not going to turn the U.S. into China! Voters need to know what would actually change if we adopt a particular policy to change the tax code or our healthcare system. The demonization of policies (like saying that a vote for any Democratic politician or policy is a vote for Satan or Stalin) absolutely has to stop if we are to have a serious discussion about the issues. Imagine how hard it would be to get anything done at work if half your colleagues believed that agreeing to any proposal from the accountants in finance would be "choosing Satan". A company where employees debated how to achieve goals and objectives by smearing each other's reputations would sink the company. We have to be better than this or we will sink this nation.
The Constitution Matters (missouri)
@Heather I agree... the fact that we had Citizens United, and then, shortly thereafter, we have Trump/the Capitol Riot (the first time in our nation's history one party tried to overthrow the peaceful transfer of power!) is not a coincidence. Dark corporate money is radicalizing America... fielding reactionary candidates who are willing to use more and more authoritarian tactics to make their minority rule possible; the will of the democratic majority be damned! The fact that American corporations are STILL donating to Kevin McCarthy/Mitch McConnel's election-denying caucus-- after they refused to impeach Trump over his violent sedition! -- is deeply unAmerican, and should be a MASSIVE scandal. At some point, those still donating to Trump will hopefully be held accountable. Because it's simply inexcusable that corporate donors-- of brands that pretend to be "family-oriented" no less!-- are still donating to Trump and the hundreds of seditious insurrections in Congress who refused to validate Biden's election EVEN AFTER the violence of their Big Lie/the Capitol Riot killed their fellow americans.... This should be a bipartisan scandal. I mean, where is Mitt Romney on all this...? Or the other "compassionate conservatives" of yesteryear still around; who spent their entire careers pretending to be "responsible" Republican statesman? Where is the righteous indignation at Trump's savaging of our democracy and its rule of law? Corporatism is an antidemocratic virus.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Heather: This will happen only by establishment of a nonpartisan election supervision agency maintaining websites where voters can study the candidates nominated by parties objectively.
Jp (Ml)
@Steve Bolger :"This will happen only by establishment of a nonpartisan election supervision agency maintaining websites" They'll "moderate" the content, right? Can't wait.
Susanna (United States)
The United States is undergoing a seismic shift which does NOT bode well for the future. There is discord brewing in every corner…be it about race, ethnicity, gender, social class, immigration policy and our nation’s sovereignty. Not to mention the pandemic. It’s become overwhelming and depressing. Not how I imagined our third act…
Henry (USA)
Your correct. There is a seismic shift. But the shift is back to the right and away from the progressive ideals of today. And November 8th is the beginning as that is the direction the majority of Americans want to travel.
Dana (Portland)
@Henry culturally, we won't be going "back" anywhere. The majority of Americans accept basic freedoms like legal abortion, gay marriage. Regardless of what the extremely right tilting Supreme Court decides, the youth of this country won't go backwards.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Susanna: If you were "God", what would you think of the US if it attributed all of its behavior to you? The US Congress did this in 1953, and you recited the words many times growing up in the US. I don't think there is a God, but if there is one who gets testy, the US has been on a long slide since then.
BinaryGuy (Midwest)
many years ago Ken Kesey wrote One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest about the terrible mental hospitals of the time. This resulted in an over reaction with the mass closings of mental hospitals. Instead of REPLACING these places we now have legions of mentally deficient homeless on the streets and a huge number of at large highly dangerous people.
Fishkill (Washington, DC)
@BinaryGuy Yes. That was the "Shining City on a Hill" time of Ronald Reagan. It was a two-pronged failed attempt to reform mental health treatment in ultra-capitalist America. 1) Close state mental health hospitals that were established to warehouse the insane before there were any effective medical treatments and continued to be run that way due to bureaucratic inertia. 2) Open community-based mental health clinics that would support the mentally ill so that they would become productive members of society. The GOP, being the GOP, spent nothing on Step #2. Result: Plenty of people roaming the streets, some living on the streets, with societally painful ideation.
Viv (.)
@Fishkill Sorry, but you can't blame this solely on Reagan's Republicans. Many vocal "progressive" activities railed against mental hospitals and advocated that mental hospitals need to be closed because outpatient care would be far better for patients and get better results. Obviously this proved to be a lie, as anyone with a lick of common sense can figure out. People with severe mental health issues need round the clock care because they do not have the discipline to stick to the treatment plan ascribed to them. If that wasn't bad enough, these "progressive" activists and self-proclaimed experts are the same ones who advocated for eliminating special education classrooms. Now all kids are in the same classroom regardless of ability to keep up with the standards, and teachers rightfully complain about being more frazzled than ever trying to cater to kids of all abilities at the same time. This doesn't work for anyone, and results in nobody learning much of anything.
former therapist (Washington)
@Fishkill I remember those times. That is when the homeless truly took off. Thank you for reminding us of the history of which we should all be aware.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
We who live together depend upon one another to have it be without constant fear and with reasonable consideration for each other. That is what we mean by civility. Once people start to impose conditions upon giving mutual respect and acting civilly upon whether others are agreeable to ourselves as members of any groups with who we affiliate, then living with so many strangers becomes perilous. The anger and animosity among our people has been treated as normal behavior beginning with Trump’s campaign for President. Decency and civility have become signs of weakness in our mass media conversation. The focus upon fear and loathing has made the violence in the truly disturbed people among us in accord with the public discourse. There is nothing keeping the crazies from acting out nor for others to become alarmed by their rhetoric before they do.
BChad (Brooklyn)
@Casual Observer I like this observation. Wise and insightful, especially the second paragraph. This rings true. Irrational thoughts, acts, feelings, and language creep in steadily until they just seem " normal." Decency, love, compassion, rational thought begin to fade and be frowned upon. This is the legacy of the Trump years. Alas.
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
As horrified as I am by this unprovoked attack on an old man in his home, as a child I knew about violence, assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, etc., hoses and dogs turned on peaceful protesters, the Vietnam war, My Lai, napalm, riots, bombs, Kent State, the IRA, DDT, etc. It was a mess then, too. It just feels more frightening now because the crazies have assault weapons.
J. (Here and There)
We all must vote and make sure pro-democracy family and friends vote. Volunteer to drive people to the polls. Canvass for Democratic candidates to GOTV. This is truly about saving our country and the rule of law.
Charles Tiege (Rochester, MN)
We are in the developmental stage of a nationwide violent insurrection. The evidence is all right out here in the open. In this instance the evidence is not only the attacker's own remarks, but also the muted nonresponse of people in high places who share his politics. They repealed of nearly all gun licensing or restrictions of sales of assault rifles, weapons that have no other purpose than to kill a lot of people, quickly. There are now more firearms in private hands than there are people in the nation. Washington is never proactive, but this time it needs to drop everything and deploy nationwide counterrevolutionary units to protect us and to put down the coming rightwing attack.
firlfriend (usa)
@Charles Tiege These types of attacks will resemble insurgencies.
SLBinVA (Richmond, VA)
I haven't seen Youngkin's tasteless remark reported here in any of the local media. but it doesn't surprise me. I haven't liked him from the minute he appeared on the political scene here, and I like him less and less as time goes by. He's Donald Trump with a bit more polish, but no more empathy.
ondelette (San Jose)
@SLBinVA Supposedly his press people are trying to call it wrong to say the governor misspoke and that he's keeping the Pelosis in his prayers. If there was ever a time for recording someone's prayers to make him prove it, it's right now. Serial liar in a sleeveless sweater.
Frank Roseavelt (New Jersey)
Let's not forget that the insurrectionists were actively looking for Speaker Pelosi and Mike Pence. Hard to believe they wouldn't have been physically attacked or worse had they been found. All the warning signs are there, yet Republican "leaders" continue to give right-wing aggressors a wink and a nod.
Nomdeplum (Queens NY)
This is an important observation. This was not a peaceful walk in the park!! I still remember watching the event on tv and-stunned that our President who planned it all was watching it on tv and could care less!!
Bob (Sunnyvale,Ca)
@Frank Roseavelt They do, and all things lead back to Trump. He gave a license to all of this.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Frank Roseavelt: Trump generally corrupts those who he seduces so they won't change sides again. Trump has many skeletons of other people in his closet.
Jack Shultz (Canada)
I was born two years after the end of World War II, when we believed that we had decisively defeated fascism. Now I’m seeing all the ugly aspects of fascism arising in the US. I feel as though I’m watching the final days of the Weimar Republic play out once again, and I fear the possibilities of what comes next.
Vivek36 (New York)
@Jack Shultz The US defoliated the forests of Vietnam years after WW3 ended. "George Lucas publicly acknowledged that the underlying principles in the Star Wars universe were based on the American Imperialistic overreach into Vietnam, and Richard Nixons emperor-like personality. Vietnam served as the Rebels, and the United States Military as the Empire." As Al Capone said, "violence is as American as cherry pie."
Claude Berman (Ankeny, IA)
@Jack Shultz You are spot on. And, unfortunately, it seems nations that descend into fascism only "recover" after being almost destroyed. But many don't recover, witness China, Russia, N. Korea, etc.
Bach (Grand Rapids, MI)
@Jack Shultz History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes. - Mark Twain
David B. (La Crosse, Wi)
Thanks for the link to Night on Bald Mountain. I've seen The Sorcerer's Apprentice at least 10 times. Great to see another clip from Fantasia. My parents took me to see it when I was perhaps 10 years old -- much to young to remember much of it -- other than Mickey M. as the Apprentice.
Nancy (NYC)
Biden said "we're better than this." No, Joe, we're obviously not. How far away from acceptable behavior can we go? Believe it or not this begins with how we raise our children. Manners, the Golden Rule -- it all went out the window when you-know-who became president and got away with behaving the way no child used to be allowed to behave. I'm frightened. But most of all, I am unbelievable sad.
Cassandra (Sacramento)
@Jorge Many Republican politicians have seemed very comfortable with calling for violence and with condoning it after it happens. I can't recall anyone from the Left behaving similarly. Yes, Democrats generally stand for things like ensuring fair bail laws that don't penalize the poor, and wanting prisoners to be housed humanely. Calls for violence from the Left? Not so much. The "hateful rhetoric destroying our discourse"? More like telling the truth.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Nancy: Expectation of treatment in kind leads to many disappointments. The wiser version of the Golden Rule puts it differently: Don't do anything to others one would consider inappropriate for oneself under their circumstances.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Jorge: Politics is a multi-dimensional parameter space. Reducing it to left and right is a reduction to absurdity. US politics founders on unequal interpretation of words.
Anya (CA)
It does not look good, and the country is heading in a wrong direction. The way I see is that we are constantly looking for a quick fix for challenges that require committed efforts. Trump is selling quick fix by lying and bluffing, and his GOP doesn’t pretending to have a plan of governing. It never works in reality, but that seems people want for now, or not.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Anya: The US can't do anything next. It doesn't know where to begin.
Just Me (nyc)
People in SF and surroundings have this sense they are somehow insulated from national political violence and open gun laws. The idea that, "We are lucky, living on an island of blue safety". This attack certainly dispels that notion. A politically motivated break-in with the intent to do physical harm. Think about that when you lock the door at night. We are all vulnerable.
firlfriend (usa)
@Charles Becker Texas now has no law regarding handguns. You can carry without a permit. Great law. Course, there are people who are able to buy a switch that makes a semi-automatic fully automatic. NRA found a company in China to make these switches even though it is illegal.
Vivek36 (New York)
@Charles Becker It is possible that Paul Pelosi was attacking was the intruder. According to Politico, "Instead, Paul Pelosi was able to dial 911 himself after telling the intruder he had to go use the bathroom and calling from there, where his phone had been charging". So why did Paul Pelosi come out and engage in a struggle with the intruder? No doubt Pelosi was angry but clearly he put his own anger ahead of his own safety. We need to know the full story and not the Democratic party's version of it.
Lee4713 (Midwest)
@Vivek36 "We" do? Maybe law enforcement needs a little time to get all of the facts. Throwing yourself into the equation doesn't help.
The Houstonian (Houston)
We can spend all day blaming the toxic political rhetoric on the Republicans and cite plenty of examples going back to Willie Horton. However, we all share in the responsibility to ramp down the rhetoric and lead by example. So, rather than pointing fingers, let the reasoned rhetoric begin with each of us.
DM (Space is the Place)
No - we do not all share blame. This is squarely on the shoulders of the dehumanizing language that comes from the right when discussing their political opponents. There is a whole media ecosystem supporting it even.
former therapist (Washington)
@DM It doesn't matter who's to blame. It's late in our civilization. Someone has to start somewhere. Give up the fingerprinting and let's at least be civil.
Detente (Canada)
@The Houstonian Now there's a wise thinker. Tone it down folks. Be kind to each other. Gentleness is powerful and courageous.
Gma (CT)
Horrid and appalling. As a nurse practitioner, I know that, at age 82, Mr. Pelosi s recovery is not guaranteed, and sorry to say, a full recovery is not even likely. As a voter of 50 years, I am outraged by the awful characters who pass for “candidates” in some states, and who will likely win, taking their bizarre ideologies to Congress. The cult of personality has consumed the Rs. Please plan to vote. The other side surely will.
Chris Reid (Kyle, Texas)
@Gma As alarmed as I am about the 'quality' of the GOP candidates, I have to keep reminding myself that these people have supporters, who think and act and believe the same way. I wish I could talk to them one-on-one to find out why they fear and hate those who are different. I know, though, that there is no changing their minds or hearts. Any change in them, if it ever happens, will have to come from within themselves.
Christian S. Miller (Saratoga, California)
@Chris Reid Chris, I suspect that the issue is not so much about "why they fear and hate", but rather that "they" don't like being disrespected by vocal Democrat leaders. "They" can feel the disdain when called "deplorables". A problem is that this disdain is sincere.
Edgar (NM)
@Gma The “awful” candidates win because the voters for them all think alike. Hate, fear, owning the libs, racism, etc. sell better than more money for your pay check, better and safer roads and good education for your children. Go figure.
psi (Sydney)
I love your country having lived there for at least 5 years and with more vistor stamps in my passport than I can count. But I remain gobsmacked that so many will fight for the right to bear arms but it is a step too far to show the decency that provides the right to be safe.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@psi: Guns simplified war down to an everyman's game. They are so simple to use and care for they aren't worth calling shooting a sport.
phoenixphantasy (phoenix, az)
@psi very well put. Actually, the majority of us here are also gobsmacked about that but we are powerless to stop it. To live here is to always be aware that a disenfranchised gun nut could riddle you with bullets in mere seconds, leaving the rest of your family devastated and your children orphaned. Or not. Just depends on your luck that day.
Citizen (Louisiana)
I also can’t believe people would vote for some of the candidates on the ballots for this upcoming election. What’s harder to believe is that many of the candidates were funded by Democrat Pacs. Instead of having more moderates to choose from there are now more extreme candidates on the Republican side. If we end up with more extreme ideological representatives serving, at least some of the blame will belong to these disingenuous groups.
Old Roats (San Francisco, CA)
It was maga voters, not PACs funded by the Democratic Party, who put the extremists onto the ballots for the general elections. There’s little doubt (none in my case) that it was a poorly-considered tactic, but the Republican base will not support moderate candidates.
firlfriend (usa)
@Citizen It was CU that caused this. Taking money which a lot of it is dark money. The Kochs come to mind. American companies who have divisions in foreign countries, their American employees can give to PACS, but since where the money comes from is kept secret in PACS who knows where the money really comes from.
dlb (washington, d.c.)
@firlfriend The Koch's dark money has been funding the Republican party for decades.
stilldana (north vancouver)
I am so sorry to say this but should predictions of a republican victory come to pass you must either prepare to literally fight to preserve your democracy or leave the US as fast as you can. Many of you will be targeted in the purge that will be undertaken. Good luck.
Allan H. (New York, NY)
@stilldana Xanax will help. Our democracy is doing fine. It's our law enforcement that creates the risks, with all sorts of violence unpunished, unless by far right. But the far left is equally dicey. In the end, its a tiny fragment of the population, so calm down.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@stilldana: The US has never been a one person one vote democracy. If Canada would like to expand south, New England might accept an invitation to join. The US Constitution is unamendable.
Charles Tiege (Rochester, MN)
@stilldana I have close friends in Denmark who have also lived here. They agree with you. They have decided that nationwide violence in unavoidable here, soon.
Rosanne (Latham, NY)
Oh this woman! Oh this woman who can run circles around all of the republicans and their minions. Nancy Pelosi is highly intelligent and better at this political game than all of them put together and there are those who just can’t stand it, especially because she is a woman. Keep going Nancy! Best wishes to her husband, Paul, for a successful recovery and to Nancy for her loyalty to our country and dedicated service in our Congress for all Americans.
Kate S. (Reston, VA)
@Rosanne Amen!!
Chris Reid (Kyle, Texas)
@Rosanne Yes, the GOP really hates strong women who put country first.
Minneapolis Maven (Minnesota)
@Rosanne I love Nancy, and have since the 80s. I hope this doesn't take her out of the game, because we sure need her.
Moso (Seattle)
What a bizarre incident. We are all trying to find meaning in the crazed assault on an elderly man in his own home. Was the assailant mentally ill? Was he high on drugs or was he drunk? Did he bring the weapon--a hammer--or was that used first by Paul Pelosi? Was there a struggle and the hammer was wrested away from Paul Pelosi? Was Paul Pelosi then beaten with his own hammer? I would ask these questions if I were the defense lawyer for David DePape. DePape is being charged with homicide so he will need all the help he can get. It is a miracle that Paul Pelosi will fully recover. I agree that none of this would have happened if not for the political environment. Fragile, mentally unstable minds like the one David DePape evidently has, often feed on the highly charged rhetoric coming from the mouths of politicians. That said, many of us feel unsafe these days, more of us are now the victims of violence, ourselves, and we are not the husband of the Speaker of the House. We can argue endlessly about whether the current violence is the fault of the Republicans or the Democrats, but that seems that that is all we can do, because the problem of violence is proving insoluble.
Jay (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA)
If I were still young enough to move to another country, I would. The promise of America and all that it stands for and could still be has been lost.
Bob (Texas)
@Jay I'm reminded of all the western movies I was raised on as a child. Everyone carried a firearm and some used them more often than others. We can only hope that people who give advice to leave America act on it themselves.
fionatimes (Mojave)
@Bob These were movies. People sued each other a lot in the Wild West. Guns, who knows? But it makes for better movies.
DRivera (West of the Cascades)
@Bob Many of us would if we were wealthy or young enough....alas.
Yahoo (Somerset)
Pelosi is second in line for the presidency. May be not in years past, but these days she and her immediate family should have Secret Service protection. It is a small price to pay for the safety of the country's leaders. Hopefully, change will come now.
B W (Chicago)
@Yahoo I thought it was the VP who was second in line. Speaker comes in third. It is nice that she gets protection but what about the rest of us?
SLBinVA (Richmond, VA)
@B W The VP is first in line; the President himself is not "in line," he's already in the office. The Vice-president is first in line behind him, and the Speaker is second. Sadly, we cannot give personal protection to every citizen of the country, but it's obvious that those highest up in government responsibility are the most at risk at targets of assassins and terrorists. Mrs. Pelosi gets protection herself, but that protection is not extended to others in her family, I gather. Perhaps we need to re-think that.
George E (California)
This comes up every time it’s mentioned. She is second in line. The vice president is first. The President pro Tempore of the Senate is third.
Mike (CT)
Trump, Q anon and all similar entities have very possibly been created and/or sustained by and with the support and approval of Russia - looking to undermine our democracy and create an autocracy that they can benefit from. Sounds like a wild conspiracy but its' are real possibility all made possible by the internet, social media, etc.
kay (ny)
@Mike If you followed the Cambridge Analytical scandal, you will see that Russia and some wealthy Americans have used military psy operations against Americans through social media. They are still doing it.
teresa (Eugene, Oregon)
@Mike ummm, yes. There has been a lot of reporting on the PROVEN interference of Putin on American politics. When the repubs in the US (aided by Putin) elected a fascist to the presidency in 2016, it was all made possible for Putin ... an ally in the White House, like a magical gift from the far-right to Vlad.
Gary R (Kokadjo)
A good friend who had spent time living in one or two very violent countries told me nearly twenty years ago that we were allowing our country to slip away from what is was that our parents believed it to be and wanted it to be, and that she could see frightening patterns developing. She said that, as a matter of conscience, she could not ask her children to tolerate further exposure to violence or behavior that ignores what leads in that direction. She moved them to a country where she and they felt safe. She did what others once believed that they were doing by choosing to move here. I know and have spoken with younger people who will stay for now, but who have backup plans should we let ‘the dream’ fade away. I used to think that I was being silly when I said to others that we can appear to succeed as individuals yet fail as a society. It kinda feels that way lately.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Gary R: 20+ million AR-15s in circulation prove that the US has a death wish that won't quit.
former therapist (Washington)
@Gary R Except....when was our country so great? Not when slavery was acceptable, Jim Crow laws, the McCarthy years of demonizing suspected Communists, Viet Nam, which both Democratic and Republican Presidents knew was unwinnable, yet still kept sending our youth to fight, the nonsensical incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan---when, exactly, were we "great"? The lynching has simply been extended beyond POC. Now we all know how it feels. Would love to know where your friend has sent her loved ones. There is nowhere on earth where we are safe. Global warming will hurt us all, never mind the dunderheads now coming at us with hammers in hand.
LJW (Montgomery, Alabama)
It’s true we elect our leaders…and our leaders have choices about where they wish to lead us…to ruinous disunion or continued efforts to perfect our union.
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
We don't elect our leaders, corporate donors put up our candidates and pull the strings behind our backs.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@LJW: We can only vote for the people who get nominated by political parties with ballot access.
Art Likely (Sonoma)
As shocked and saddened as I am by the attack on Mr. Pelosi, I'm not surprised. Our country has become divided between 'We' and 'They'. The 'We' are people who look at the world and say, "What are we going to do?" The 'They' are people who look at the world and say, "Look at what they are doing!" The significant difference between the two is that 'We' people are solution-oriented and proactive. 'They' people are blame-oriented and reactive. This is the inevitable result when people have been led down rabbit holes on the presumption that the world is the fault of 'they' rather than the responsibility of 'we.'
magicisnotreal (earth)
@Art Likely I think you and a lot of people have the wrong perspective. Our country is not divided. One political party has taken to using the very methods we fought the cold war against on our own population with the predictable results that were the reason behind fighting that war over those methods.
Ken (St. Louis)
magicisnotreal -- You don't think the "methods" of "one political party" [the Republicans] are causing division? Wow.
JWinder (New Jersey)
@Jerry That is a side issue (a real one, but not the main problem). There are plenty of depraved, dishonest politicians that have been elected for the first time last election, and we have seen some obvious examples of that behavior in the House by the newly elected in their 20's and 30's.
Kelly Grace Smith (fayetteville, NY)
I am sickened by the attack on Speaker Pelosi’s husband; I am heartbroken this is where we have devolved to in this country. Absolutely, both political parties are responsible for where we are in this country. However, one political party turns a blind eye to division, disrespect, intimidation, violence, and limiting voting rights. One party chooses to ignore when their “leaders” dehumanize others. One party seeks to control women’s bodies. So much easier to create an enemy, than build community. So much easier to perpetuate fear, than exercise courage. So much easier to dehumanize, than open to recognize our shared humanity. Without our humanity, we will possess nothing of value. It is past time for clear-headed Americans, no matter their political affiliation, to stand up and say, “No more!” We must find ways to come together in community, support one another without prejudice, and build the coalitions that reject violence, rhetoric, manipulation, and the dehumanization of one another. Those of us who reject what is happening in our country must speak up, stand up, demand change…and vote. We cannot afford to be a “Silent Majority” any longer.
Kelly Grace Smith (fayetteville, NY)
@Joe D Thank you Joe D. As the saying goes, hate is easy, loves takes courage...
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Kelly Grace Smith: We were never silent, just completely ignored by media playing politics for advertising revenue. Nothing liberal ever goes viral in the US.
Nicolas Falacci (Pasadena, CA)
@Kelly Grace Smith Please. Never, ever say “both parties” are responsible for where we are as a country. As your following comments point out — it’s simply not true. The GOP’s priorities are entirely centered around policies that service the corporate and 1%. Tax cuts for the rich, deregulate everything, build enormous debt. And because their policies don’t help the poor and middle class — they have to resort to appealing to division. Class and race division. And reactionary regressive politics. Regressive culture war tactics. The GOP has been courting a white nationalist and evangelical base for decades. They kept the racism at dog whistle levels. Then Trump showed up and ratcheted it up to bullhorn levels. Democracy means nothing to the GOP. They favor an oligarchy — and if it begets fascism so be it.
romac (Verona. NJ)
Our political leaders reflect us. Should Rpublicans gain control of Congress because suburban and rural types irrationally fear crime and the "other" or believe that a year or two of inflation is more than they can possibly bear, what results will fall on their heads. Cassius said a mouthful to Brutus about fault and stars and we are quickly running out of stars to blame.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@romac: The Republicans prefer a Senate of Herschel Walkers.
sfreud (wien)
I experienced a huge sigh of relief when Biden was elected. Now, two years on, I am frozen with fear. How can anyone vote for the Republicans? How can a Democrat stay away from the voting booth next week?
M.K. Ward (Louisiana)
@sfreud I don't now anyone can vote for a Republican either, but my best guess would be they don't honestly know what either party stands for. They also don't know how much the Democratic party has done for them while the Republicans tried to block every single thing that has become our safety net in old age, the little we have been able to do for clean water and air, and progress in education and medical care for the most people Dems could push through. What Republicans like is a good slogan, a mean joke and, evidently, a stand-up comedian with a chip on his shoulder.
Max Collodi (New Jersey)
The Uber wealthy have gorged themselves on the fruits of the working class labor. They own the politicians to insure wealth flows back to them and doesn’t trickle down. $7.50 an hour anyone?
GADenocrat (Georgia)
In theory that’s all fine and good. But political philosophy will fall short if every e who claims yours also claim lies & support violence. Democracy (or “Representative Democracy” for those obstinate against the word) cannot stand firm against mass violence. We have to turn down the rhetoric in whatever way possible. It’s not a game, it’s life.
Walter J. Ullrich (Fresno)
I remain cynically flabbergasted that your "ESTEEMED COLLEAGUES" Brooks, Stephens and Douthat have NEVER, EVER taken your reality-based, principled perspective on the many, many connections between ongoing, escalating violence, the republiQans, and the magaverse the past 7 years! Thank you for this column!
Dana (Portland)
@Walter J. Ullrich what are you talking about? They draw the connections between those things all the time.
Erich Richter (San Francisco CA)
@Walter J. Ullrich Douhat was busy writing an extensive essay on House of the Dragon. And not as a metaphor for some deeper meaning. It's literally 1800 words about a TV show.
Diana (Centennial)
So far as I know, Kensinger is the only GOP official to speak out about the attack on Paul Pelosi. Crickets from the rest of the GOP. Not a word of sympathy, not one call for the violence to stop. I suppose their retrospective response to what happened on January 6th should have told us everything we needed to know about these people. They are amoral and without scruples. Donald Trump gave them permission to be who they were all along. The veil was lifted and the face of horror was revealed. They no longer had to pretend to give a fig about this country, about democracy, about "we the people". They have felt free to spread lies, hate, and conspiracy theories spun from whole cloth, leaving a scorched earth in their path wherever they have tread. How horrifying it is to see the number of people who support them and the unfit candidates for office they have foisted on us, and how our democracy truly is hanging by a thread. Do the GOP enablers really think the GOP won't do their best to usher out Social Security, Medicare, the ACA, and anything else that benefits the Middle Class and the poor? No one thought Roe would be overturned, that it was settled precedent, yet that is exactly what happened. The GOP finally got what it wanted. The same will happen with social programs if they regain total power in 2024. Is this how the sun sets on our Republic? A collapse into authoritarianism?
Abby (Western Washington)
@Diana To be fair and truthful: McConnell spoke up, as did Grassley, Cruz, Paul, and other GOPs. I don't admire any of them or agree with their politics, but they did condemn the violence against Mr. Pelosi.
teresa (Eugene, Oregon)
@Abby They condemned it? They CAUSED IT!!!!!
Spencer (St. Louis)
@Abby Too little too late. They have spent their careers either ignoring or subtly espousing the violent activities of their base in order to maintain their power.
Kim (New England)
There has always been violence. It's a human thing. But there hasn't always been leaders spouting it, condoning it, encouraging it to the extent they are now. We need a better mental health awareness to deal with people who had traumatic childhoods and suffered at school and in social situations such that they are angry, bitter and hateful to the point of violence. No, they are not insane. And the motive is not what they say it is...or what the press says it is. The motive is their depression, their suffering, their hopelessness. They build up a story to deal with it. There are times you can't change a person's mind by threat of punishment. That's because they don't think they are wrong. Punishing does not solve it. If it did, we would not have this problem to the extent that we do. Intervention and understanding is what's needed.
EE (NY)
Yes there are people with significant mental health needs and certainly those impacted by trauma. And yes we need to understand them and support them better so they can recover and live healthy lives. But their vulnerability is currently being taken advantage of by the fear-mongering and lies of Fox News and the Republican Party. To claim this is a mental health issue first and foremost is to ignore the reality of our current situation. Calls for more mental health treatment and /or law enforcement are simply distractions. For Republicans it has become “win at all costs”, even if means violence and abandonment of democracy.
M.K. Ward (Louisiana)
@Kim OK, put down that gun so we can talk? Violence is an in-the-moment thing. I agree that mental health awareness and treatment are imperative, but at the point of violence they should be removed from society to jail, a treatment facility for the mentally ill or whatever incarceration will prevent them from hurting others.
Howard Rubinstein (Brooklyn, NY)
There have always been political leaders promoting violence. They’re called fascists.
MPH (New Rochelle NY)
The guy who was looking for Nancy lives in a world where Fox News is the mainstream and from those kernels of misinformation he searches for more and is immersed in a narrative that demonizes all Democrats, especially The RIght Honorable Mrs Pelosi who is made out to me a nefarious plotter against all that is good. Add to that a President Trump who has no regard for truth; the only reason to accept or reject anything is if it does or does not favor him, and you end up with too many people living in a fantasy world where opponents are mortal threats and inevitably some will act, as we saw yesterday and on Jan 6th 2021.
TL (CT)
@MPH The guy was a psychedelic drug abuser who lived a mile away from Pelosi. One of her constituents in a city where crime is unfettered. The "Where's Nancy?" part was recounted by Mr. Pelosi, who had been struck in the head with a hammer just prior to giving a recount of the night's events. Or it was inserted by someone else to fit the narrative.
Peggysmomil (NYC)
I have no need to travel in NYC by subway, but it is scary to not only read about but to see videos posted by the press of people being pushed off the subway platform on to the tracks. But the Press is not doing a service to most people because those crazy people also watch tv and may be stimulated by what they see. I use the word crazy because while most mentally unbalanced people do not commit crimes those that do are "crazy".
Hazel 21 (Los Angeles)
@Peggysmomil You or I could watch thousand videos of people being pushed in front of trains , yet we would neve do that. People are not that influenced by viewing other's violence unless they are either brainwashed by constant lying propaganda or already had mental problems where they sought to harm others. Just like video games don't cause school shootings there are other factors at work. Primarily the easy acquisition of combat designed multiple shot armaments. It in the brain, in the promoters of a false interpretation of the purpose of the Second Amendment and in the general rise in hate speech and income inequality that we can trace back to Reagan and all the Republicans who came after him. These are obviously disturbed people but there is no magic cure for them unless the community discourse changes from hate to building recognition of the humanity and right to live a decent life for all of us.
MN (Michigan)
@Hazel 21 Exactly. we have to take care of our people, otherwise else social pathology like we see now.
doug (tomkins cove, ny)
@Peggysmomil please Peggy, don’t fall into the “crazy” trap. The people committing these acts are just mean nasty resentful people who see others seemingly going about their day while not bothering anyone else. The true measure of whether these miscreants were in fact crazy or insane is what they do immediately after the attacks they engage in— they almost always flee. This shows me a consciousness of guilt, they know what they did is wrong and would be arrested if the hung around so they leave as fast as they can, that’s not crazy! Just because you and I could never fathom committing something like that doesn’t constitute crazy on their part.
Bowden (New York)
And yet the answer is that we must talk to each other more - not less. We need to rediscover the fact that we have more in common with one another than we’re currently (maliciously) led to believe. We need to focus on the truly non-partisan issues instead of the divisive pablum that passes for journalism these days. We need to get out of our echo chambers. Every one of us. We need to stop staring at our phones; looking to answers that lie within us. We need to immediately delete Instagram, and stop using Facebook as a therapist. Social media is neither. We need more humanity, gratitude, and humility.
doug (tomkins cove, ny)
@Bowden have you ever tried to speak calmly to a trump supporter? They won’t go banana’s but they have a strongly held belief in every retort they will offer you. Joe Scarborough hardly a bleeding heart repeatedly recounts discussions with his long time friends and family trying to bring them in from the wilderness, he admits he rarely succeeds, they are resolute in their rejection of any facts that don’t comport with what they’ve heard or read from the sources that tell the what they want to hear. There are none so blind than those who will not see, and none so deaf than those who will not hear. I appreciate your sentiments, they sound sincere, but where to start? It would be like trying to convince a Mets fan to root for the Phillies in the WS because 2 pitchers on the Phillies used to be Mets. You’ll hear not now, not ever!
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Bowden: The Republican Party has been turning the English Language on its head for as long as I have lived.
lisa (michigan)
The Repubs want to get rid of trump but continue to support him. Any vote for a MAGA candidate is a trump vote. If you want trump gone he has to lose in the midterms and that means every Republican running for office including the MAGAs. To many non MAGA Repubs want trump gone but stay silent and their silence is being complicit in going along with the big lie. If trump's MAGA candidates win -the Republican party is done. It will be the trump party going forward. Only trump will decide who the primary candidate is. You already had the RNC for over a year out of office paying for trumps personal expenses. No Repub out of office gets that kind of aid. trump will control the RNC funding and which candidates run. Inflation is world wide and the Repubs don't have a plan but cut social security and reverse the elimination of the medicare donut hole. And don't think Biden will veto anything. They have already said they are impeaching Biden and Garland.
Melinda (Canada)
Impeaching isn’t convicting. They won’t have the votes for that.
Donna M. Darboli (California)
For a fascist movement to succeed, they need executioners. That's exactly what trump and his toadies have bred--an army of ready and willing executioners. This is very scary.
JH (Germany)
I’m an American watching from afar as the November election takes place. It’s hard to understand how Americans can support a Republican Party so tainted by ties to Trump, subjugating half the population to forced birth, hell bent on destroying the economy, the environment and more kids being shot to smithereens but if that is the will of the American people, so be it.
N. Smith (New York City)
@JH I'm a German American watching from here, and I'd like to remind you that fortunately not all Americans are falling into the Republican mind-set trap (at least not Democrats!) Although with Elon Musk now in control of Twitter, it will be a challenge to get though all their noise.
Karen (California)
@JH It's not the will of the American people. It cannot be done without extreme gerrymandering. Nevertheless, I am mourning how many people are going along with it.
Carol (Toronto)
@Karen And yet the Supreme Court has not outlawed gerrymandering per se.
A (On This Crazy Planet)
Hopefully, David DePape will get what he deserves for being so accepting of lies from the Republican Party.
larrybay (Los Altos, CA)
@H: Yes, he will be punished. But in the way of today, the trial will be drawn out for a long time and the Anerican public will lose interest. Also, whatever meaninful lessons from the trial and likely conviction will go unreported to the very people who need to know about it, on those "news" outlets that feed that side if our political divide. Finally, this hapless soul was acting on behalf of a very large group of persuaders who encourage these actions with absolutely no risk to themselves.
teresa (Eugene, Oregon)
@A But, will the lie TELLERS ever feel the consequences?
Pia (Las Cruces NM)
Who ARE these people? God help us.
artist (earth)
If the 74 million who voted for Trump don’t denounce it, it’s them. Silence equals complicity. But they’ll just say he was mentally ill, defend the right for people to carry hammers, and move on.
Midel (Florida)
Maureen, you are brilliant, as usual, but how saddening situation are you describing.
Lou Sight (San Diego)
If only this were a horror movie. Just before I saw the latest political creature feature, I too was was thinking about Halloween and how the Republicans have become the Costume Party, dressing in tactical gear and masking as patriots: https://lousight.com/2022/10/28/costume-party/?fbclid=IwAR0nQRKDxoQFyAStu032yjZG83rGfDSRY0Fom9f2rFzi9GxHqaWNfTsGivo
cdisf (SF)
Fortunately, police arrived within 2 minutes to the Pelosi mansion. For regular San Franciscans, no one would’ve come at all. The Pelosis are worth $30 million and can hire 24/7 private security and now undoubtedly will. Most Americans don’t have even $1000 in savings, so they buy guns to keep themselves safe in their homes. I wish Mr. Pelosi a full recovery. Throw the book at his attacker as well as every single perp who engages in physical harm to another. No bail if you hurt someone.
Sandra Wise (San Diego)
@cdisf How many Americans who don't have 1000 in savings could do so with a little tightening of the belt. How many current day Americans would have survived the depression? The current voters would have thrown Roosevelt out of office because the economy was so bad, even though it was a worldwide problem, as it is today. The GOP may well take both houses of Congress and we, us ordinary citizens, will then, according to McConnell, see their plan for "righting" the economic ship. In other words they have none.
JD Athey (Oregon)
@Sandra Wise 'The GOP may well take both houses of Congress and we, us ordinary citizens, will then, according to McConnell, see their plan for "righting" the economic ship. In other words they have none.' Indeed. Their only plan involves making millions of people penniless in one stroke, and looting the Treasury for themselves. Under a GOP Congress, we will almost certainly get another chance to 'survive a Depression', with no help coming from a Republican president.
Kostja (Seattle)
@cdisf - Guns in your home are not keeping you safe. Although researchers are restricted by law to investigate the causes of gun violence there is good data showing that keeping a gun at your house raises the chance of dying by gun violence exponentially. Vote and work for responsible government. "Defund the police" wins the award for the most damaging slogan for sensible democratic policies.
american (america)
Please contact Governor Youngkin of Virginia and tell him his behavior is unacceptable. It's unbelievable that the governor of such a prominent state in this country would behave in such a crass, cruel, and dangerous manner. He needs to understand that he is accountable to the people, and that he needs to set a high bar. Capitalizing on the suffering of the Pelosi family, and you can be sure he's fundraising on this message. It's the worst sort of opportunism. Is this the example he sets for his own children? How irresponsible. Is this the example we want our leaders to exhibit for our children? Words have consequences, as we've seen. Words are just as dangerous as those sticks and stones. We are seeing hatred metastasize in this country, and we can't allow that to happen. Don't stand by and allow this to continue. Call out every politician and anyone else who takes the low road. This is exactly how the Nazis came to power, by dehumanizing other people, by treating them as if they were subhuman. We have an obligation to be better, to rise higher, to act with integrity. If we really believe this country is special—and I only believe in American exceptionalism as a principle to aspire to, that we should aspire to be different, to be genuinely better—we must put down our collective foot and put a stop to this. Don't let leaders get away with this hateful vitriol. It diminishes us all.
Mons (Seattle)
@american I wouldn't expect much here. The results are in, and it pays to be belligerent, particularly if you "own the libs". This is once again an expected result of allowing media assets to say whatever they wish, regardless of truth, in the name of "free speech" It is hard to say what was worse, Citizen's United or the repeal of the FCC's "Fairness Doctrine"
zula Z (brooklyn)
@american Unfortunately, there are a significant number (NOT a majority) who are cheering Glenn Youngkin and Pelosi's assailant, among them, no doubt, chief instigator DJT, who is NO LONGER the president, by the way. Most magas received no material benefit from TFG's administration, so is this violence motivated only by right wing propaganda? That is terrifying . It's such a beautiful country. I do not understand the impulse to destroy it. There is a terrible war in Ukraine (blame the GLOBAL economy for higher prices).
Constance Sullivan (Minneapolis)
@american I'm shocked that no one in the crowd the governor was speaking to managed to boo him from the stage for that ugly, vicious comment on an attempted assassination of a U. S. leader.
Peter Britt (Chicago)
I'd like to ask all the maga people, don't you realize how happy you're making Putin, Xi, and Kim, and all the rest of our enemies?
Coco (Aspen)
@Peter Britt thing is…those madmen you mentioned are not MAGA enemies, they’re allies.
Carolyn Crandall (Oregon)
@Peter Britt Peter, that is the point. The new republican party is all in for all three you mention and want to turn America into the same. When Kevin McCarthy stated he will stop aid to Ukraine and repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, repeal the ACA and cut all social programs, this is the message. Democracy and the old American way have to be stopped and this is what will happen, then add that they are going to try to impeach President Biden and Attorney General Garland. Buckle up!
Bashh (USA)
@Peter Britt Of course they do. They are all on the same side. Best buds with Trump. MAGA can’t wait to get back in Congress and give Putin everything he wants.
Mark Kropf (Long Island)
Violence should never be the answer. It is not even a good consideration for some thought before action. We have a Nation which has found verbal attack reasonable, which is regrettable enough. People make progress through negotiation, shared ideas and attempts at compromise, but verbal attacks cut bridges, while physical attacks totally destroy them.
Buffalorob (Belleville, IL)
The article was very poignant until you got to the part about Republicans taking over. If you have some sort of crystal ball that has pre-ordained this, then please share it. If you are referring to the pollsters, the vast majority being men who openly admit to not weighting polls even when there is evidential proof that women will dominate turnout, then why mention it? Until then, we have record early voter turnout which always favors Democrats, elections won by Democrats in Republican CDs only 3 months ago, a referendum on abortion rights in one of the reddest states in America all of this going up against a narrative established by people who have been wrong time and again. I know old habits are hard to break but this one should be easy.
alfred (canada)
gosh I hope you're right.
Dom (Long Island, N.Y.)
This is not a country I recognize any longer. Like many origin stories my ancestors came to the USA generations ago for a better life and for opportunity that was out of reach for them in their homeland. I am grateful to them for making that choice as it had secured their progeny many blessings. It now pains me to consider if it is time to reverse course and leave.
HOUDINI (New York City)
@Dom I think about leaving all the time. But like a true New Yorker, if I left––where to go? When TFG arrived in the WH I was offered a sponsored job in another country. I'd been there 6 months earlier and they made a very kind invitation to return (I did) and did their best to welcome me and consummate the deal offered without flaw. I enjoyed the experience and there was a real concerted effort to have me move. They even showed me where I might live overlooking the ocean. In the end, my country needed me. Sound grand? It needs you too. If we are to save America from being Russian-controlled, then we must stand our grand, look the enemy right in the eye, and say "Not here. Not on my/our watch." I'd rather go down fighting for what I believe; than run from what scares me. But that's just me. I happen to live within 100 yards from where Nathan Hale was hanged so maybe that has something to do with my thinking...
Paolo (Massachusetts)
@HOUDINI - If you took the offer you could still vote in American elections. You get to vote in the Presidential elections in the state where you last voted. So don't be too quick to not take the next offer.
cdisf (SF)
@Dom The cruel irony is that the great majority of educated Americans have nowhere to go where we can legally work. Not Canada, not the UK, not the EU. I have lived and worked all over the world, and unless you have a very special skill set and fluently speak a foreign language, you will not find employment in another western nation. I worked in Europe during the Trump years and I met exactly zero expats who fled due to trump.
Ryan Cosgrove (Dallas)
The attack on Pelosi’s husband at their home is alarming and part of a disturbing trend, and our leaders and media need to stem the rhetoric that promotes it. And that means on the Left too. Conspicuously missing from this column is any mention of the attempted attack on Bret Kavanaugh’s family at their home, in the midst of protests at the conservative justices’ homes that were cheered on by many on the Left. Or the violent attacks on crisis pregnancy centers. Or the man who shot up a Republican congressional softball practice a few years back. We need to keep our political disagreements civil, and we will not stem this violent trend by one side pretending that only the other side is the problem.
HOUDINI (New York City)
@Ryan Cosgrove "And that means on the Left too. Conspicuously missing from this column is any mention of the attempted attack on Bret Kavanaugh’s family at their home, in the midst of protests at the conservative justices’ homes that were cheered on by many on the Left." Sword cuts both ways. You attack; you will be attacked. A law of nature known as Newton's Third Law of Motion. "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." Violence over 10,000 years of human experience shows little success for whatever they were fighting about. Sure, from the wars of Xerxes to Viet Nam to Ukraine the scenario repeats. Attacker; attacked; result: not what either wanted. Not very efficient. If humanity embraced the idea of the "win-win-win": individual-environment and galaxy all "winning" --ergo "profiting" things would evolve more smoothly. In the theatre this "scenario" is seen in what the public knows as "a hit". Audience-producer-performer all profit when the product is loved. Bond. The Beatles. Phantom...the list is endless, and those three examples encompassing only 50 years from England. Putin doesn't understand this, and I doubt ever will.
dlb (washington, d.c.)
@Ryan Cosgrove No, please no more of this both sides do it. Both sides don't do it, its the right-wing Republican party that does it. “To be clear: I am not referring to the sort of spinning, caricaturing, or routine dissembling one comes to expect from political campaigns of both parties. Rather, it is the wholesaling and mass consumption of dangerous, dehumanizing lies that concerns me. And in this regard, there is simply no question as to which party is guiltiest.” The Atlantic Magazine, Robert Draper, 10/28/2022
Tim C (Chicago)
@Ryan Cosgrove I think it's important to not equivocate. The violence both spontaneous and organized as well as the threats to government leaders right on down to poll workers and volunteers is far, far more prevalent on the right. Not even close. And the majority of this poison emanates from Trump and his lies, but it is polished and refreshed every day by Fox News. There is no comparison.
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